The Jewish National Fund, a group most widely known for planting trees in Israel, is paying former President Bill Clinton $500,000 to give a 45-minute speech in Israel on June 17. The event Clinton is speaking at is to honor the 90th birthday of one of Clinton;s political allies, Israeli President Shimon Peres, at the Peres academic center in Rehovot. The gargantuan sum will go straight to the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Even the leftist newspaper Haaretz, known for its adoration of Clinton, called the exorbitant fee a “cause for embarrassment.” Ayala Hasson, a chief at Israel TV tweeted that the money shows “a loss of all shame …” She said, “The founders of the JNF are turning in their graves. The JNF spokeswoman didn’t answer me who approved this scandalous amount. She only responded that it is a great honor blah blah…”
Clinton averages $180,000 per speaking appearance.
Clinton and Peres were instrumental in forwarding the secretive and ultimately disastrous Oslo accords, in which Yasser Arafat cynically said he would work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict, promised to abstain from the use of terror and violent acts as well as acknowledging the United Nations’ Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and guaranteed changes in the Palestinian manifest in the Palestinian National Council that disapproved Israel’s right for independence. Needless to say, Arafat never took that seriously.
But in the years since, Peres and Clinton have traded on their misguided efforts to present themselves as statesmen worthy of getting hefty checks for their speeches. They know the truth of what Rhett Butler said in Gone with the Wind: what most people don’t seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one.