Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Michele Angrist




israel, bush, clinton, israeli, peace


The goal of this thesis has been to determine if George H.W. Bush or William Jefferson Clinton worked in the interest of Israel in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The interest of Israel, as defined in this thesis, is a two state solution in which Israel gives up control of the Occupied Territories in a manner that ensures the security of Israel. Giving up control of the Occupied Territories also means that Israeli settlement activities must end. With this goal in mind, the unique foreign policy issues Israel presented to Presidents Bush and Clinton were examined in detail. The efforts of Bush to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together for negotiations resulted in the Madrid Peace Conference. Moreover, Bush pursued a course of action that forced Israel to modify their settlement policy by withholding loan guarantees. While Bush’s tactics upset the Israeli lobby in America, the President stood his ground. In contrast to Bush, Bill Clinton appeared to be the most pro-Israel of American Presidents, but he too worked with both sides as an advocate of peace. Unsuccessful in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Clinton should have placed more public pressure on Israel instead of confining this pressure to the private settings of peace summits.