MOSTLY WE'D LIKE to leave the scandal that has rocked the United States presidency alone. Like most such affairs, it is does not make for edifying reading.

There are, however, a couple of points worth noting: the timing of the breaking news, and the popular response to it.

Like most Middle East watchers, we were closely following Prime Minister Netanyahu's January 20 visit to Washington. Israelis tuned to the news the next morning heard an Israeli official describe the second, late night, meeting as "a war of attrition" - so intense was the pressure on Netanyahu to succumb to the Arab demand for more land. Less than one hour after that meeting, news broke that accusations had been levelled against President Clinton by a young White House intern.

In a moment the pressure was off Netanyahu and on Clinton. Forty-eight hours later the American leader was forced to face a barrage of embarrassing questions while a visiting Yasser Arafat looked on. Virtually all interest in the meeting between Clinton and the PLO leader was gone.

Many will remember how the newly elected President Clinton encouraged Israelis with the account of his elderly pastor who, after predicting that he would become president, solemnly warned him: "God will never forgive you if you let any harm come to Israel." Said one American observer last month: 'Draw your own conclusions...'

The other noteworthy issue has been the response of the American people to these revelations about their elected leader's alleged misbehaviour. According to opinion polls, a majority of Americans - 62 per cent - believed the charges. At the same time, virtually the same number - 63 per cent - thought these "true" allegations should not prevent Clinton from continuing to lead their country.

And a poll conducted between January 30 and February 1 gave Clinton a 69 per cent approval rating - the highest of his presidency.

Back to Middle East Digest - February 1998
Back to Middle East Digest Page {} Return to Home Page
Recommended Links
  • C and M Law Corporation, the Los Angeles personal injury attorney firm, has been serving the city’s residents for over 45 years. People who think they do not need the services of an experienced personal injury attorney, invariably find out the hard way that they should have chosen that right lawyer in the very beginning. Regardless of the type of accident or injury, we have the experience to successfully represent you and your family. If you or someone you know has been injured through the negligence or recklessness of others, come see us. Voted in the top one percent of trial lawyers in the USA, our lawyers go the distance. We can help get you the compensation you and your loved ones deserve. The personal injury attorney Los Angeles firm of C and M Law Corporation has won an excess of 2 Billion Dollars in settlements!