Bill Clinton paid half million USD for speech in Israel

Xinhua, June 3, 2013

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has been paid 500,000 U.S. dollars for a speech to be given at an event in honor of Israeli President Shimon Peres, sources confirmed to Xinhua Sunday.

Clinton is scheduled to visit Israel on June 18 for the fifth annual Presidential Conference, to be attended by international political leaders, thinkers and artists.

Clinton's 45-minute speech on sustainability was invited by the Peres Academic Center in the city of Rehovot, northern Israel, but will be co-sponsored by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), officials at the JNF and the Peres Academic Center told Xinhua Sunday.

The payment was made to the Clinton Global Initiative, an international affairs outreach venture of Clinton, according to Israel's Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronot daily.

The JNF is a quasi-governmental body and owns 13 percent of the total land in Israel. In recent years, anti-occupation activists in Europe and the United States denounced the JNF's land policy as racist.