Bill Clinton: Palestinian Statehood Bid Won't Change Mideast Realities

Speaking to NBC's 'Meet the Press,' former U.S. President says U.S. must veto PA statehood bid at Security Council, but should try and 'contain negative fallout.'

A recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations will not change the fundamental realities of the Middle East, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Sunday, adding that he believed Washington would veto the proposal at the Security Council since it is "committed to Israel's security."

Earlier Sunday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referring to an upcoming UN vote on Palestinian statehood, said in a cabinet meeting that "the Palestinians' wish to become a permanent UN member… is bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council."

Bill Clinton, Clinton Global Initiative NYC, 21.9.10 (AP)

He said that even though the Palestinians can opt to turn to the general assembly, "it does not have the same significance of the Security Council, and that is not the Palestinians' stated goal."

Speaking to NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, former president Clinton said that the United States must "contain the fallout" from the Palestinian UN bid expected later this week, adding that "when this is over the underlying reality won't change, and we still believe there should be a Palestinian state and we still believe that there should be cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors."

Clinton said he felt that above all the Palestinian bid was an "act of frustration by the Palestinians, and what I think we've all got to do is contain the negative fallout."

Clinton said he felt the Palestinians knew "that they have to negotiate borders and securities with the Israelis, they're just frustrated because they feel they have provided a secure environment, they have reinforced cooperation with the Israelis, they have produced a growing economy in the West Bank, they have renounced violence…and there's been no progress."

"So when they get the vote, which will be extremely positive, since most of the rest of the world thinks the Israelis have made an error not being more forthcoming with the government, and the U.S. vetoes it, which we will do because we're committed to Israel's security and the idea that the two parties have to negotiate a solution," he added.

"So I don't know what's going to happen, I just know that this is one of those deals where we're either going to go forward or fall back and I favor going forward, I don't think the fundamental realties have changed in 20 years," the former U.S. president said.