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Clinton's Visit To Masada

President Clinton and his family toured the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada on Tuesday.

Some people may not be familiar with the story of Masada. That's where, from 66 to 73 A.D., 1,000 Jews called Zealots rebelled against the Roman Empire. With 15,000 soldiers, the Romans besieged the Zealots, who fought bravely but were finally overwhelmed. Rather than surrender, however, the Zealots killed themselves.

You could almost imagine Mr. Clinton looking at Masada's historic ruins this morning and wishing he could trade places with the Zealots.

Bill Clinton is under siege himself these days. Many people are urging him to take dramatic action to avoid impeachment in the House and a trial in the Senate.

Some politicians and analysts recommend that the president simply admit to having lied under oath. But no one so far has been very clear about what the president would get in return for such an admission, apart from exposing himself to criminal prosecution after he leaves office.

For his part, Mr. Clinton says he has no intention of admitting any lies, because he believes he has not lied.

On Wednesday, the siege of Clinton will heat up, as the House of Representatives debates the articles of impeachment voted out by the Judiciary Committee. Bill Clinton is no zealot - don't expect any Masada-style act of political or legal suicide, just to escape the consequences.

But he is in a mess - and looking for a Hanukkah miracle.

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