Gene Callahan and Stu
Iraq came across the Jordan River, I would grab a rifle and get
in the trench and fight and die [for Israel]," ex-president
Bill Clinton said to wild applause at a Jewish fund-raiser in Toronto.
shared his woolgathering with 350 people who paid $1,000 to break
bread and wind with him on Monday night at a dinner for the Toronto
Hadassah-WIZO children's charity.
who tried to make peace in the Middle East the legacy of his presidency,
but instead botched things royally, decried the current cycle of
violence in Israel.
current cycle of violence in Israel I'm against it," the
ex-President said, with a countenance more in sorrow than in anger.
"Now, the last cycle of violence, that I could live with."
he said, "It is important for the United States to remain involved
in the situation in the Middle East because, well, it's important
for the United States to remain involved in most any situation."
ex-president said the best solution to the Middle East conflict
is an interim settlement that would "establish 'The Republic
of Palestine Wing' in my presidential library, which, by the way,
is still accepting donations for construction."
he stressed that the creation of such a wing must be preceded by
security assurances for Israel and a timetable to resolve other
said, "Arafat made a disastrous mistake when he failed to capitalize
on the close relationship between us created by my wearing a dishtowel
on my head at our first meeting." Arafat turned down a peace
proposal that would have given the Palestinian leader control of
97 percent of the West Bank, a 50 percent stake in the Whitewater
Development Corporation, and a lifetime supply of Sharper Image
nose and ear hair trimmers.
continued: "Peace can be achieved even if Arafat is in power.
However, if those Palestinian folks knew what was good for them,
they'd find a proven leader who is respected internationally. A
leader who is known for his fair-minded promotion of peace in the
region. A leader who has shown outstanding skill in manning the
helm of a democratic state. A leader who has shown tremendous resilience
under mean-spirited attacks from certain fanatical elements within.
A leader, who, if Israel crossed the Jordan river, would be willing
to grab a rifle and get in the trench and fight and die for the
I don't think there is a military solution to this," he said.
"I know there's not a terrorist solution to it. Furthermore,
it doesn't seem like there is a diplomatic solution to it. Damn,
maybe there's no solution to it. I'm sure glad I'm not Dubya."
Clinton said, "There are reasons for optimism. I'm not
sure what reasons, but there are reasons, reasons that we
hear, reasons that we feel our feelings won't… disappear. Reasons
to believe in the hope for peace. Because, I want all of you folks
to know, I am the man from Hope."
his attention to another conflict, Clinton cited India and Pakistan
as countries that must move forward, rather than backward, with
situation is a classic example of the tragedy that can result when
people become obsessed with blowing each other to bits," he
Pakistan came across the Shiwalik Range into Kashmir, I would grab
an untouchable, climb on a pile of logs, and immolate both of us
then flew on to Aspen, Colorado, where he gave a motivational speech
to the US women's ski team, telling the gals, "If Canada defeats
you at the next world championship, I will gladly take up a pole
and give Margaret Trudeau a good pounding with it."
who opposed the Vietnam War, lived in his mother's closet for 2
years to avoid induction when he received a draft call in 1969.
later went to Yale, where he smoked lots of dope and hung out at
the law library trying to feel up Hillary, until the war was good
2002 Gene Callahan &
Callahan/Stu Morgenstern Archives