Hillary Clinton said last week that the Bush administration hadn’t made any “informal or oral agreements” on Israel settlements, but that’s simply not true, writes Bush adviser Elliott Abrams in the Wall Street Journal. In fact, talks between the administration and Israel’s then-PM resulted in Ariel Sharon’s agreement to “remove some West Bank settlements”—at his own political expense.
Sharon and Bush also agreed that there could be some “continuing growth,” though there would be “no construction of new settlements,” as Sharon said in a major speech in 2003. Both a letter to Condoleezza Rice and media reports documented agreements between the governments. Now, Abrams laments, President Obama “has decided to abandon the understandings”—“but we cannot rewrite history” and pretend they “did not exist.”