Hillary Clinton: The Alternative to Abbas Might Be ISIS

Presidential hopeful tells Saban Forum that Israel 'should take action' on settlements, but calls on Arab states to update peace initiative and recognize Israel.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at Saban Forum 2015 in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015.
AP

WASHINGTON - Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton  addressed the Saban Forum in Washington, D.C. Sunday, following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said that the "one-state solution is no solution, but prescription for conflict," adding that the alternative to the current Palestinian leadership might be ISIS.

According to the Democratic presidential hopeful, though some "in the Israeli government don't see Abbas as a partner" the "alternative for Abbas might be ISIS." She asked, "What is the alternative? Who is better?"

Clinton said that "Israel should take action, including on settlements," noting that "all US governments were against expansion of settlements," but noted that "converging interests between Israel and Arab states might contribute to peace."

She called "on Arab states to update the Arab peace initiative and recognize Israel as a Jewish state," and called on Israel to respond to the initiative.

"I understand the frustration that people feel about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process but we shouldn't give up...  as president I would begin to move forward again on peace process."

Clinton said that the U.S. stands with Israel "now and forever," adding "Israel faces growing threats around it," and noting the presence of an ISIS affiliate in Egypt's restive Sinai region.

"Israel needs a strong America by its side, and we need a strong Israel by our side," she said, urging "the strong US-Israeli relations" be taken to the "next level."

"We need an Israel that is a bastion of stability. An Israel strong enough to deter its enemies and take steps in the direction of peace. We need an Israel whose pluralism is a rebuke to radicals across the nation," she said.

Clinton commented on the recent string of terror attacks in Israel, and called on the Palestinian leadership to condemn "incitement and anti-Israel rhetoric."

"Israeli children have been killed, as have Palestinian children. Just a few weeks ago an American, Erza Schwartz, was killed. Palestinian leaders should combat incitement and anti-Israel rhetoric. The right to be safe is not just for Americans but also for Israelis and Palestinians."

Earlier, Netanyahu told the forum that "The only workable solution is not a unitary state, but a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state," reiterating his objection to the one-state solution. Netanyahu made the comments after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the forum Saturday that the current trends were leading Israel and the Palestinians to a one-state reality.