Cheshvan 12, 5766
U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she
supports the separation fence Israel is building along the edges of the
West Bank, and that the onus is on the Palestinian Authority to fight
"This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton, a New York Democrat, said during a tour of a section of the barrier being built around Jerusalem.
"This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."
Clinton's comments echoed Israel's position that the Palestinians must crack down on militants or Israel will find ways to prevent attacks on its citizens.
Israel Defense Forces commanders explained the security considerations of the barrier to Clinton at an observation point in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
From the lookout, Clinton could see the barrier change from a concrete wall around parts of Jerusalem to an electrified fence on the approach to the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
Clinton, who is on a three-day visit to Israel, also met Sunday with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.
On Monday, Clinton - along with several international dignitaries, including her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton - is to attend ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin's assassination.
Hillary Clinton touted Sharon's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September as "courageous" and said the Israeli leader needs a "reliable partner" on the Palestinian side to further the positive momentum created by the pullout.
"That was an incredibly difficult position for him to take, and it caused great distress within the Israeli society," Clinton said. "But he did it as a means of demonstrating that he is committed to trying to get back into a process."
Clinton is not slated to visit the Palestinian areas during her visit.
The Clintons interrupted their Israeli visit to travel to Jordan on Sunday night to meet with King Abdullah following last week's triple hotel bombing in Amman. The couple was to visit one of the attacked hotels.
Clinton said the trip to Jordan is to "pay our respects to His Majesty and the people of Jordan, who themselves have suffered from the violent extremists that we are united against."
Clinton brushed off questions Sunday on whether she plans to run for U.S. president in 2008.
"I've already been to the White House," she said before meeting with Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. Polls have indicated that, if she were to run for president, she would be the favorite for the Democratic nomination.
Clintons attend Rabin memorial
Bill Clinton, in an emotional address delivered Saturday night meters from the site where Yitzhak Rabin was slain 10 years ago, urged some 200,000 people gathered in Tel Aviv to take up Rabin's peacemaking and "see it through to the end."
Clinton, who forged a deep bond with Rabin as he sought to broker Mideast peace with the Palestinians and Israel's neighboring Arab states,was the keynote speaker in the memorial rally marking the anniversary of the assassination of former prime minister Rabin by a far-right Israeli.
"I loved him very much, and I was in awe of his ability to move from being a soldier to being a peacemaker, a politician to a statesman," Clinton said.
"If he were here, he would say, 'There is enough of all this missing. If you really think I lived a good life, if you think I made a noble sacrifice in death, than for goodness sakes take up my work and see it through to the end,'" Clinton said.
"However many days Rabin had left, he gave them up on this spot for you and your future," he said. "He knew he was risking giving them up and he gave them up, too, for all the children of the Palestinians, who deserve the benefit and the blessings of a normal life, as well."
On November 4, 1995, while leaving a peace rally, Rabin was assassinated by Yigal Amir, an extremist Jew who considered him a traitor for making concessions to the Palestinians.
In a speech that was at times deeply personal, Clinton said he "expected to be missing Yitzhak Rabin for the rest of my life."
Clinton ended his speech by saying "Shalom Haver," Hebrew for "Goodbye friend," the same words he famously used to bid farewell to Rabin at the Israeli leader's funeral.
Images of Rabin, who won a Noble Peace Prize for signing the Oslo interim peace accords with the Palestinians, played on a huge television screen towering over the square.