Editor's Note: This column was coauthored by Bob Morrison.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is commanding big speaking fees. She regularly gets $200,000 for unburdening her mind on important topics of the day. Bill Clinton has topped all former presidents, however, in speaking for dollars. He can command as much as $500,000 for a 45-minute address. That ain’t chopped liver.
As interesting as it would be to hear these very knowledgeable folks, however, one thing they do not tell us is why they thought it was a good idea to divide Jerusalem and give a portion of it to Yasser Arafat’s PLO faction.
Yasser Arafat was for many years listed as a leading terrorist in the world. He invented airline hijacking for terror purposes. It would not be out of line to call him the mentor to the 9/11 hijackers. Yasser Arafat personally ordered the murder of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel in Sudan in 1973.
When President Clinton came to office in 1993, however, the U.S. had recognized already Yasser Arafat’s PLO as the so-called Palestinian Authority (PA) and was pressing Israel to make major concessions in territory to Arafat. Bill Clinton famously posed on the White House Lawn in 1993 with Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Rabin would tragically be assassinated in 1995, after he and Arafat, and current Israeli President Shimon Peres were jointly awarded the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize. The citation says it was given “"for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.”
Part of the Oslo Accords that led to the White House ceremony involved granting Arafat custody over Bethlehem and the area surrounding Manger Square. The PLO treated their takeover of Bethlehem as the Second Coming of Yasser. Huge posters of his unlovely, unshaven face festooned the buildings in Manger Square. Many Christians felt intimidated about going to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas. Arafat planned to use the Church of the Nativity to broadcast a speech on Palestinian nationalist themes to a captive audience. There was even an effort to cast Jesus as a first century Palestinian Arab.