Last updated on: 4/30/2008 1:47:00 PM PST

What Were the 2000 Clinton Parameters, and Were They an Acceptable Solution?

General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
Bernard Wasserstein, DPhil, DLitt, Professor of History at the University of Chicago, in his 2001 book Divided Jerusalem, wrote:

"In a meeting at the White House with Israeli and Palestinian representatives on 23 December 2000 President Clinton presented his own ideas for bridging the gaps between the two sides. The basis of his proposals was an understanding that a Palestinian State would be created in the West Bank and Gaza and that Israelis would withdraw altogether from Gaza. Israel would withdraw from 94 to 96 per cent of the West Bank. She would annex the remainder of the West Bank, containing some 80 per cent of Israeli settlers. The Palestinian State would be 'compensated by a land swap of 1 to 3 per cent in addition to territorial arrangements such as a permanent safe passage' between the West Bank and Gaza...Israel would 'acknowledge the moral and material suffering caused to the Palestinian people as a result of the 1948 war' and the Palestinian refugee problem would be solved on the basis of 'the guiding principle that the Palestinian state should be the focal point for the Palestinians who choose to return to the area.' Both sides would accept that 'the agreement clearly marks the end of the conflict and its implementation puts an end to all claims.'"

2001 - Bernard Wasserstein, DPhil, DLitt 

PRO (yes)

Shlomo Ben-Ami, PhD, former Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a Sep. 15, 2001 Ha'aretz interview titled "End of a Journey," stated the following:

"The proposal was difficult for us to accept. No one came out dancing and singing, and [Prime Minister] Ehud [Barak] especially was perturbed. At the same time, three days later, the [Israeli] cabinet decided on a positive response to Clinton. All the ministers supported it, with the exception of Matan Vilnai and Ra'anan Cohen. I informed the Americans that Israel's answer was yes."

Sep. 15, 2001 - Shlomo Ben-Ami, PhD 

Dennis Ross, former Special Middle East Coordinator for the Clinton Administration, in an Aug. 8, 2001 Washington Institute for Near East Policy interview titled "From Oslo to Camp David to Taba: Setting the Record Straight," stated the following:

"I do believe that Camp David broke the taboos and the Clinton ideas reflected the best judgment of what was possible between the two sides in terms of their essential needs, but the Clinton ideas were, as I put it, the roof, not the ceiling, the roof. They were not the floor, they were not the ceiling, they were the roof. They were the best that could be done. Anybody who thinks that you start at that point is, I think, not realistic. It may be that is where you will end up, but things are going to have to change pretty dramatically to get back to that point."

Aug. 8, 2001 - Dennis Ross, PhD 

Bill Clinton, JD, 42nd President of the United States, as quoted by Ehud Barak in a June 13, 2002 The New York Review of Books interview with Israeli historian Benny Morris, titled "Camp David and After: An Exchange (1. An Interview with Ehud Barak)," stated the following:

"The true story of Camp David was that for the first time in the history of the conflict the American president put on the table a proposal, based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, very close to the Palestinian demands, and Arafat refused even to accept it as a basis for negotiations, walked out of the room, and deliberately turned to terrorism. That's the real story— all the rest is gossip."

June 13, 2002 - Bill Clinton, JD 

CON (no)

Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLONAD), in Jan. 2001 offered "The Official Palestinian Response to The Clinton Parameters" which stated:

"We cannot...accept a proposal that secures neither the establishment of a viable Palestinian state nor the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes."

Jan. 2001 - Palestine Liberation Organization Negotiations Affairs Department (PLONAD) 

Hussein Agha, Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College at Oxford University, and Robert Malley, Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, in an Aug. 9, 2001 The New York Review of Books essay titled "Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors," stated the following:

"The Palestinians saw acceptance of the US ideas, even as 'bases for further negotiations,' as presenting dangers of its own. The Camp David proposals were viewed as inadequate: they were silent on the question of refugees, the land exchange was unbalanced, and both the Haram and much of Arab East Jerusalem were to remain under Israeli sovereignty. To accept these proposals in the hope that Barak would then move further risked diluting the Palestinian position in a fundamental way: by shifting the terms of debate from the international legitimacy of United Nations resolutions on Israeli withdrawal and on refugee return to the imprecise ideas suggested by the US. Without the guarantee of a deal, this was tantamount to gambling with what the Palestinians considered their most valuable currency, international legality."

Aug. 9, 2001 - Robert Malley, JD, PhD 
Hussein Agha 

Ahmed Qurei, Senior Palestinian Negotiator, was quoted in a Jan. 8, 2001 Guardian article titled "Palestinians Reject Peace Plan as Israelis Protest":

"We can't accept Clinton's ideas as a basis for future negotiations or a future settlement. Clinton didn't take (Palestinian leader, Yasser) Arafat's reservations into account, and these ideas don't offer our people their legitimate rights."

Jan. 8, 2001 - Ahmed Qurei