Clinton: Peace failure a major regret

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bill Clinton said that failing to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace is one of three regrets of his presidency.

In an interview broadcast this week on CNN, Clinton blamed the peace failure on the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"I wish that Yasser Arafat hadn’t walked away from the best peace deal that the Palestinians could possibly get," Clinton said, referring to the 2000 talks that envisioned two states based on 1967 lines with minor modifications and a shared Jerusalem. "Now the current leadership of the Palestinians has basically said they would take that deal. And I still believe almost no matter what happens in the Israeli election, there’s a broad understanding in Israel that demographics are not the friend of an ultimate resolution of this. So I wish we had been able to make peace in the Middle East."

Clinton’s other two regrets were failing to pass health-care reform and not intervening in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

The former U.S. leader seemed to suggest that he shared responsibility for the health-care debacle with Congress, but he assumed full responsibility for Rwanda.

"I have spent the rest of my life and will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to them," Clinton said. "I have health-care and economic projects in Rwanda. I helped them to build their holocaust memorial. I wish I’d done that."

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