Clinton's Holiday in Hell

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Out of the frying pan... The Mideast will offer Bill Clinton poor respite from his domestic troubles when he touches down late Saturday. Israeli security forces fired on Palestinian protesters in a West Bank town Friday killing two and wounding 50. "We haven't seen incidents like this since the height of the Intifada uprising ten years ago," says TIME Jerusalem bureau chief Lisa Beyer. The immediate flash point is Israel's refusal to release Palestinian security prisoners, but the turmoil highlights the limits of the Wye accord. "Wye produced a new agreement, but no new trust or goodwill," says Beyer. "The two sides still hate each other."

So, far from a foreign-policy walk in the park away from his Washington troubles, Clinton's visit to Gaza may be the trickiest trip of his presidency. "His whole investment here is at risk of going down the tubes," says Beyer. "The visit will be hailed as a great success as long as nothing catastrophic happens." Clinton certainly won't want to be reminded that he's not the first U.S. president under threat of impeachment to make a Mideast peace pilgrimage. Richard Nixon visited Cairo in early 1974, and -- enough said.