CAMERA Letter in Newsweek Clears Up Disagreement on Clinton Offer

A letter from CAMERA was published in the Oct. 29, 2007 Newsweek. The letter responded to an interview with Mahmoud Abbas in the Oct. 8 issue of the magazine, in which the interviewer and the Palestinian leader disagreed over the amount of land offered to the Palestinians as part of Bill Clinton’s peace proposal of 2000.

The letter appears below, followed by the relevant excerpt from the interview.

Oct. 29, 2007 Letter:

Palestinians and the West Bank
Lally Weymouth’s Oct. 8 interview with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (“Tough Talk From the Top”) concluded with a bit of disagreement. While the interviewer recalled that President Bill Clinton’s December 2000 Middle East peace proposal would have turned over to the Palestinians 98 percent of the West Bank, the Palestinian leader disagreed. He claimed it was only 92 percent. So who was right? To help resolve this dispute, I pulled out the Jan. 8, 2001, issue of NEWSWEEK and read that the Palestinians were offered “94 to 96 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, and an additional 1 to 3 percent of land from Israel.” The total, roughly 98 percent, coincides with Clinton’s own description of his proposal—and with Weymouth’s assertion in the interview.

Gilead Ini, Senior Research Analyst
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Boston, Mass.

Excerpt from Oct. 8 interview:

WEYMOUTH: How do you envision the borders of a future Palestinian state?
ABBAS: ’67 borders.
WEYMOUTH: How does that differ from what President Clinton offered Yasir Arafat in 2000? Didn’t he offer him almost 98 percent of the West Bank?
ABBAS: No, no. In Camp David, it was only 92 [percent]. Clinton offered us 92. Ninety-two is unacceptable to us.

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