The Clinton Parameters
The Clinton Parameters (Hebrew: מתווה קלינטון, Mitveh Clinton, lit. Clinton's Outline) is a term attributed to the guidelines for Permanent Status Agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that were proposed by then President of the United States, Bill Clinton, in late 2000.
The background for 'Clinton's Parameters' was the opening of the Second Intifada, 'al-Aqsa Intifada', the failure of 2000 Camp David Summit, the upcoming Israeli elections, which polls indicated a possible defeat for then Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the end of the Clinton presidency, in which Clinton desired to end the eight years of Peace efforts and Middle East arena in a successful note. The proposal was presented in 23 December 2000. Israel formally accepted the plan with some reservations outlined in a letter by Barak. Clinton considered these reservations to be acceptable within the Parameters, which left room for negotiations on many issues. In a meeting in the White House on the 2 of January 2001 Yasser Arafat officially accepted the parameters with reservations. The White House confirmed this the following day in a statement which said that "both sides have now accepted the president's ideas with some reservations."123
According to the Parameters, Israel would gain sovereignty over the Western Wall. The Palestinians would gain sovereignty and Israel would gain "symbolic ownership" over the rest of the Temple Mount, with both parties sharing sovereignty over the issue of excavations under the Temple Mount. East Jerusalem and its Old City would be divided according to ethnic lines, with Israel gaining sovereignty over Jewish settlements, and the Palestinians gaining sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods.4
The Clinton Parameters proposed a Palestinians state comprising between 94–96% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip, with Israel annexing the remaining land, which would include almost all Israeli settlements, containing 80% of the settler population. Israel would cede 1–3% of land to the Palestinians in land swaps to compensate for the annexations. The Palestinian state would have to be contiguous, and annexed areas along with the number of Palestinians affected would be as minimized as possible.4
The Parameters required the Palestinians to waive their claim to an unlimited "right of return" to Israel proper, and Israel to acknowledge the "moral and material suffering caused to the Palestinian people by the 1948 war, and the need to assist the international community in addressing the problem". Under the Parameters, an international commission would be established to implement all aspects dealing with refugees as part of a permanent peace agreement. The Palestinian state would accept all refugees wishing to settle in its territory. The remaining refugees would be rehabilitated in their host countries, immigrate to third-party countries, and a limited number could settle in Israel if it agreed to accept them. Both sides would agree that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 has been implemented.4
Clinton's Parameters proposed that Israel would retain a military presence throughout fixed locations in the Jordan Valley, under the authority of an international force for the first 36 months. This period could be reduced in the event of the diminishing of regional threats to Israel. Israel would also set up three radar facilities in the West Bank. These facilities would have a Palestinian liaison and would be subject to review after every ten years, with any changes in their status to be mutually agreed by both parties.
The Palestinian state would gain sovereignty over its own airspace, with special reservations for Israeli training and operational needs. The Palestinian state would also be defined as a "non-militarized state", and would not possess conventional military forces, but would be allowed to have a "strong security force". The Palestinian state would also have an international force for border security and deterrence.
In the event of a military threat to Israel's national security requiring a state of emergency, Israel would be allowed to deploy military forces to certain areas and routes, according to a pre-drawn map. International forces would have to be notified prior to any such deployments.4
The Parameters required that this agreement put an end to the conflict and any other claims. This could be implemented through a United Nations Security Council Resolution declaring that Resolutions 242 and 338 have been implemented.4
The Parameters received a mix of support and criticism within Israel, with some in the Israeli government, as well as the Mayor of Jerusalem opposing them. There were also fears that the Parameters would not be approved in a public referendum, and that the Palestinians might violate their terms of the agreements.
Despite some provisions on Jerusalem being contrary to the election promises of Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the Parameters received wide support in the Israeli cabinet, which voted to accept them, with Cabinet Minister, Roni Milo, being the only one to resign over his objection to the Cabinet's approval of the plan. Although he chose to accept the plan, Prime Minister Barak sent Clinton a 20-page letter of "reservations". The two main points were that he "would not sign any document that transfers sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Palestinians", and that "no Israeli prime minister will accept even one refugee on the basis of the right of return."5 Minor reservations were also made with regard to security arrangements, deployment areas, and control over passages. In a phone conversation with Clinton, Prime Minister Barak also demanded that Israel be allowed to retain sovereignty over the "sacred basin" — the whole area outside the Old City that includes the City of David and the Tombs of the Prophets on the road to the Mount of Olives, which was not mentioned in the Parameters.6
On January 1, 2001, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat sent a letter to President Clinton, outlining the Palestinian reservations. The letter called into question whether the proposals to resolve the final status issues would represent a viable state for the Palestinians. The letter said that without clarification to address their concerns the proposals would not "allow for a pragmatic resolution of the conflict."78 The following day at a meeting in the White House Arafat gave his qualified agreement to the parameters, though his reservations and requests for clarifications still stood.1 After the meeting the White House released an official statement in which they explained that both sides had accepted the President's parameters with reservations.123
According to Clinton and Ross, Israel formally accepted the proposal and Barak's reservations were "within" the Parameters, while Arafat's reservations were "outside" them, and Arafat never formally accepted each of the conditions contained in the parameters.9 A different view is that both Israeli and Palestinian reservations questioned fundamental aspects of the Clinton parameters.10
Additional attempts to reach a compromise at the Taba Summit were unsuccessful, although some progress was made. In Israel, the Prime Minister's opponents claimed that his government lacked the support of the Israeli public, the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and the polls, and that he was submitting Israel to a "liquidation sale".
A poll carried out in 2011 by the Hebrew University indicated that a growing number of Palestinians and Israelis supported a settlement to the conflict based on the parameters. The poll found that 58% of Israelis and 50% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution based on the Clinton Parameters, compared with 47% of Israelis and 39% of Palestinians in 2003, the first year the poll was carried out. The poll also found that an increasing percentage of both populations supported an end to violence—63% of Palestinians and 70% of Israelis expressing their support for an end to violence, an increase of 2% for Israelis and 5% for Palestinians from the previous year.11
- Swisher, Clayton (2004). The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process. Nation Books. p. 402.
- "EXCERPTS: STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN ON MIDEAST PEACE PROSPECTS (Both sides accept Clinton's parameters with reservations)". Embassy of the United States, Israel. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
- Wren, Christopher (January 3, 2001). "Renewed Hope for Peace Talks as Arafat Returns to Mideast". New York Times. Retrieved June 3, 2012.
- Ari Shavit, "Eyes Wide Shut," [interview with Ehud Barak] Ha'aretz, September 6, 2002
- Swisher, Clayton: The Truth about Camp David: The Untold Story about the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process
- Swisher, Clayton (2004). The Truth About Camp David: The Untold Story About the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process. Nation Books. p. 399.
- Dennis Ross, The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux), p. 756
- Jeremy Pressman, "Visions in Collision: What Happened at Camp David and Taba?" International Security, vol 28, no. 2, Fall 2003, p. 20, PDF
- Lidman, Melanie (2011-12-28). "Support growing for two-state solution". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (August 2010)|
- Clinton Parameters, The Jewish Peace Lobby website, full text (English)
- TEXT: Clinton speech on Mideast Peace Parameters, January 8, 2001, US Embassy in Israel website
- Comparing the Clinton Paramters and the Nusseibeh-Ayalon Statement of Principles, The Jewish Peace Lobby wesite (table comparison)
- Official Palestinian Response to The Clinton Parameters (and letter to the international community, January 1, 2001), PLO negotiations Affairs Department - Negotiations & The peace Process
- Bill Clinton Reflects on 2000 Camp David Summit (2005), Jewish Virtual Library, quoting from President Bill Clinton’s autobiography, “My Life,” on the events of December 23, 2000 and his parameters.