Update: Statement about honorary non-payment to President Clinton from the organizers of the Life Ball in Vienna added at end of the article.
The former U.S. President Bill Clinton, war criminal and smoker of Monica Lewinsky’s cigars, will receive a half million dollars as “honorary” from the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in order to join their festive evening to mark the 90 birthday of President Shimon Persky, known as Shimon Peres, which will be held on June 17 at Peres Academic Center for “peace” at Rehevot in the central district of israel, about 20 km south of Tel Aviv, and to give 45 minute lecture during festive evening.
According to the hebrew edition of Themarker.com (Haaretz) published today June 2 2013, former U.S. President Bill Clinton will receive half a million dollars to give a 45 minutes lecture at the Peres academy for “peace” in Israel, what has caused much embarrassment to both the president and the JNF, which contributed the half million dollars to fund a lecture by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
The newspaper pointed out that the amount was collected by the World Jewish National Fund from more than 40 countries to finance this festive occasion. The newspaper added that the amount had been agreed in advance with former president Clinton to secure his presence at the festive occasion to take place on June 17, 2013.
Besides American participants who were invited to the academic center, there are many rich israeli guests who were invited in order to raise funds for the center. Each israeli guest to the event must pay NIS 3,000 (about 626 EUR) for the invitation. Last Friday, Yossi Sarid, in the parliament for the leftist Meretz party, revealed to Haaretz “how each invitee has to pay NIS 3,000 to enter the event instead of donating the same amount to fund scholarships for disadvantaged students”. Sarid also described a conversation between him and the chairman of the JNF, a certain Kligman, which showed that Kligman apparently did not know how much money had been spent on the event.
Update: President Clinton attended the Vienna Life Ball this year and apparently also in past years. Because of the issue at hand and because the former president has some renown for asking outrageous speaker fees, I asked the organizers of the Life Ball event if and what they had paid Mr. Clinton for his attendance. I received the following statement from their spokeswoman:
As we are a charity, we do not pay ever since a celebrity to attend Life Ball. We are collaborating with the Clinton Health Access Initative since 2007 in the fight against HIV/AIDS, same as we do with amfAR – The Foundation for AIDS Research (spokesperson this year Fergie), the Elton John AIDS Foundation (spokesperson this year Sir Elton John and David Furnish), UNAIDS (spokesperson this year Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).
So the question remains, if the Life Ball organizers, a private charity which is funded by private donors as well as government subventions, is able to engage the former president at no cost, why is the Peres Academic Center for “Peace”, a private charity which is funded by private donors as well as government subventions, which has far more influential backers than the Life Ball could ever dream of, and which collects money on the back of the Palestinian people purportedly to “make peace”, squandering a half million dollars for a speech of perhaps half an hour by the same former president?