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Hillary Clinton Supports ‘Stop Iran Now’ Rally Against Ahmedinejad at the UN

Posted by jewsforhillary on September 23, 2008

September 22, 2008

Clinton Adds Her Voice to Opposition to Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s Visit to New York

Tells Rally Organizers That Iran Must Not Be Permitted Nuclear Weapons 

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today added her voice to the thousands gathering in New York to oppose Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his regime’s nuclear ambitions and threats against Israel. In a letter to organizers of a rally protesting Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York, Senator Clinton underscored the need to deny Iran nuclear weapons and stand firmly with Israel.

“Israel’s right to exist – and exist in safety and peace – must never be called in to question,” Senator Clinton wrote. “We should not, cannot, must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.”

Senator Clinton has long been a leading critic of Ahmadinejad and his regime. In remarks to the Israel Bonds dinner last week in New York, she outlined the threat posed by Iran to Israel, the wider Middle East, and the United States, and urged clear and unequivocal action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Additional statements by Senator Clinton on Israel and the Middle East are available here: http://clinton.senate.gov/issues/nationalsecurity/israel.

The text of Senator Clinton’s letter to rally organizers follows and is available on PDF here: http://www.clinton.senate.gov/documents/news/09_22_08_rally.pdf

September 22, 2008

To Members of the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now along with the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, Jewish Community Relations Council of New York, United Jewish Communities, UJA-Federation of New York, and Jewish Council for Public Affairs:

 

As thousands gather in New York today to stand united against the threat posed by Iran, I add my voice to all those speaking out to oppose the Iranian regime’s support for global terror, pursuit of nuclear weapons, and abuse of human rights.  As Iranian President Ahmadinejad travels to New York, once again using the General Assembly of the United Nations as the stage for his hateful propaganda against Israel and the United States, we must be clear and steadfast in our opposition to the message he carries, and the threat a nuclear-armed Iran would pose.

As we know too well, the President of Iran has made a series of incendiary, outrageous comments, questioning the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map.  Israel’s right to exist – and exist in safety and peace – must never be called in to question. To deny the Holocaust places the President of Iran in the company of the most despicable bigots and historical revisionists.  He has also said “The big powers are going down… a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible.”

President Ahmadinejad’s despicable comments and support for terrorism are even more disturbing in the context of the regime’s quest to acquire nuclear weapons. His anti-American, anti-Israeli rhetoric underscores the seriousness of the threat. Indeed, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) recently found that Iran is making significant progress on developing and operating its centrifuges necessary to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, and that Iran continues to resist efforts to address substantively its alleged nuclear weapons-related work. United States policy in this regard must be clear and unequivocal.  We should not, cannot, must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.  In dealing with this threat, as I have said repeatedly, we must take no option off the table.

We must continue to keep the spotlight on Iran until it ends its anti-American and anti-Semitic policies of hate, ends its nuclear weapons program, and its sponsorship of terrorism. I commend all of those joining today to oppose the Iranian regime’s policies and statements during President Ahmadinejad’s visit.

 
Sincerely,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

United States Senator

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Posted in AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, Barack Obama, Democrats, Elie Wiesel, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Holocaust denial, Iran, Israel, Jewish Politics, Joe Biden, John McCain, JTA, Malcolm Hoenlein, ZOA | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Clinton Reaffirms Commitment to Israel’s Security and Pledge to Deny Iran’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons

Posted by jewsforhillary on September 22, 2008

 September 21, 2008

Clinton Reaffirms Commitment to Israel’s Security and Pledge to Deny Iran’s Pursuit of Nuclear Weapons

“We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons.”

NEW YORK, NY – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton called on the United States to continue its commitment to the security and prosperity of Israel in remarks at the Israel Bonds dinner held in New York City on Thursday. Senator Clinton underscored the vital relationship between the United States and Israel and their shared values and shared belief in the right to live without fear or oppression. In addition, Senator Clinton highlighted the importance of doing all that is necessary to thwart the growing threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“Israel’s commitment to civic engagement, open debate, free expression, the rule of law – even in the face of grave dangers – is something that we Americans not only can, but must support,” Senator Clinton said. “U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. We must stand with Israel in our words and our deeds to ensure the safety of all those who seek a prosperous life in Israel.”

Excerpts from Senator Clinton’s remarks follow:

Senator Clinton:
“Everyone here knows that Israel Bonds was the brain child of David Ben-Gurion, and what a brilliant idea when you stop to think about it. The idea that people who supported Israel would be able to do so by contributing to the resources that this young state needed. The building of infrastructure, the planting of forests, the assistance that would come to ensure the freedom and the safety and a better life for all who were seeking a new beginning in Israel.

So investing in a productive and growing Israel was important then and is important now. These bonds and your contributions to their purchase are not acts of charity. These truly are part of the foundation of the relationship, the building blocks of a partnership between the American Jewish community and the Jewish State. And it is part also of the bond shared by the United States, its government and our people and the government and people of Israel. Based on our shared interests and rooted in the strength that we derive from shared values. Israel’s commitment to civic engagement, open debate, free expression, the rule of law – even in the face of grave dangers – is something that we Americans not only can, but must support.

So what Prime Minster Ben-Gurion initiated all those years ago is an ongoing project. We need only look at the current challenges facing Israel to recognize that this once again is a moment of peril. There are many dangers and threats in our world today, but certainly ranking near the top of those that concern me is the threat posed by Iran–a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire Middle East and beyond, including the United States. There are many reasons why we should take this threat seriously. Not the least of which is that the Iranian government under its current president hosted a conference whose sole purpose was to deny the Holocaust.

We know that Iran and their leaders have raised serious international concerns with their pursuit of nuclear ambitions. We know they have called for Israel to be wiped off the map, and we know that they support terrorist elements that attack innocence in Israel and beyond.

So U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal. We cannot, we should not, we must not, permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I have said repeatedly, we can not take any option off the table. We have to be as flexible and smart and strong in our efforts to deny Iran their nuclear ambitions as we possibly can be. Including engaging Iran in ways that might possibly lead to changes in behavior. But as the Iranian president travels to New York to meet at the United Nations, and once again to use the General Assembly as a launching pad for his attacks on Israel and the United States we must raise our voices together in opposition to the message he carries and the threat Iran poses.

We also know that the dangers posed to Israel have been compounded by the presence and seizure of Gaza by Hamas – and by Hezbollah, the terrorist group now represented in the Lebanese government. I have long said that Hamas must not be recognized until it renounces violence and terror and recognizes Israel’s right to exist. And that includes the security barrier to keep terrorists out that I have long and vigorously supported. I’ve spoke out strongly against the International Court of Justice for questioning Israel’s right to self defense which includes building the security fence.

There is a lot that we have to be concerned about, as you know so well. But the bottom line is that we stand with Israel because we too reject extremism and nihilism and are committed to defeating terrorism, our cause is shared and our cause is just. This is about democracy and freedom, about human rights and about justice.

And I believe that what you are doing tonight, bonding with Israel once again through Israel bonds, makes a very clear statement. In many ways it is an affront to those who would deny Israel’s existence or continue to engage in anti-Israeli rhetoric, anti-Semitism and in any way undermine our shared belief and commitment in the values that we stand for. These shared values and our shared belief in the dignity of men and women – and the right to live without fear or oppression – the opportunity to pursue a safe and prosperous future are really what you are building. You may be able to see the tangible results of the investments that have been made.

I remember so well when I first visited Israel back in 1981 how I could see the results of the incredible generosity, particularly from America, that resulted in the literal building of Israel. But even more important, it is an intangible commitment and recognition of these values that we hold in common. So thank you for standing with Israel in your words and in your deeds. And I pledge to you that I will continue to be your partner and your champion as we stand together. Thank you all very much.”

Posted in 2008, AIPAC, American Jewish Committee, Barack Obama, Democrats, George W. Bush, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Hillary Supporters, IDF, Iran, Israel, Israeli Security, Jewish Activism, Jews, John McCain, NJDC, OU, Terrorism, ZOA | Leave a Comment »

JTA On Hillary’s Journey to Jewish a Favorite

Posted by jewsforhillary on January 7, 2008

One thing I can’t stand personally is people’s failure to allow themselves to think about possibly seeing past the “Suha kiss” and consider potentially acknowleging all the positive good Hillary has done, and in particular for Israel.

Make no mistake. Hilaary understands. She is aware of the real serious threat posed by Iran and Ahmedinejad. This is a fundamental difference between her and Senator Obama.

JTA: “From Suha embrace to Iran hawk, Clinton now most favored by Jews

Whereas Bill Clinton could name the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, opine on Zionist history and deliver a persuasive “Shalom chaver” at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral, Hillary Clinton’s repertoire was limited to introducing an Israeli early childhood education program to Arkansas.

As late as December 1998, during the couple’s visit to Israel, the first lady’s affiliation with the Hebrew University’s Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, known as HIPPY, was the centerpiece of her leg of the visit.

It didn’t help her profile among Jews that the Clinton administration used her as a stalking horse to advocate for a Palestinian state. Then in 1999, on the eve of her first bid for the U.S. Senate, she embraced Suha Arafat after the Palestinian leader’s wife accused Israel of deliberately poisoning Palestinian children. Clinton said later she hadn’t been paying close attention to the simultaneous translation.

It soon became clear, however, that she was willing to listen. Some of the signals were politics-as-usual horse-trading. President Clinton’s final pardons included four residents of the Chasidic enclave in New Square, N.Y. , who had been convicted of defrauding the government. She received overwhelming support from the town during the election.

Once elected to the Senate, Clinton reached out to Jewish organizational leaders and soon became a staple of the Jewish circuit. Hardly a Washington event run by a national Jewish group does not include an address by Clinton — often on Tuesday morning, just before delegates go to the Capitol to lobby.

On many issues, particularly in the domestic arena, little gap exists between Clinton and the predominantly liberal Jewish organizational community. As first lady, Clinton had an established record promoting universal health care, and as senator she worked hard to stop Bush administration rollbacks on the Medicare program, which is almost universally favored by a Jewish population aging more rapidly than other Americans.

In other areas Clinton exhibited a subtle grasp of issues that concern the community, strongly backing discretionary Homeland Security funds to help protect nonprofits from terrorist attack. The bulk of those funds have gone to Jewish institutions.

She also has adopted as her own a campaign to press Arab governments to remove incitment against Jews and Israel from their textbooks.

Clinton took a hit last fall from her party’s base when she voted in favor of a nonbinding amendment that recommended sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Bush eventually ordered the sanctions, favored by the pro-Israel lobby as a means of pressing Iran to give up its suspected nuclear weapons program.

That drew sharp criticism from her competitors, who said the vote would embolden the Bush administration into waging war against Iran. She stood her ground.

“Iran is seeking nuclear weapons,” she said in an Oct. 30 MSNBC-sponsored debate. “And the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is in the forefront of that, as they are in the sponsorship of terrorism.”

She added: “I prefer vigorous diplomacy, and I happen to think economic sanctions are part of vigorous diplomacy.”

It was straight from the pro-Israel playbook, and it illustrates what has attracted not only Jewish voter support but, perhaps even more substantively, Jewish fund-raiser support.

Two of her major backers in this campaign supported polar opposites among the Democrats in 2004: Lonnie Kaplan of New Jersey went for Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and his tough foreign policy, and Steve Grossman opted for ex-Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who was fiercely anti-war.

At a National Jewish Democratic Council candidates’ forum last spring, Grossman and Kaplan, both former presidents of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, sat next to each other and conferred occasionally on their favored candidate: Hillary Clinton.

Posted in 2008, AIPAC, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Israel, Jewish Activism, Jewish Politics, JTA, NJDC, Suha Kiss | Leave a Comment »

Candidate Hillary’s First Words on Israel

Posted by jewsforhillary on June 3, 2007

Here is an Israeli Television reporter’s video from February, prompting Senator Clinton’s first public statements on Israel after declaring her candidacy for President, maintaining her strong constant support.

Posted in 2008, AIPAC, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Palestinian Media Watch | 1 Comment »

Democrats Love Israel

Posted by jewsforhillary on June 3, 2007

Posted in 2008, AIPAC, Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Joe Biden | Leave a Comment »

Hillary Clinton: Longtime Advocate For Captive Israeli Sodliers

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 28, 2007

Senator Clinton has a long and dedicated history of concern and advocacy on behalf of captive Israeli Soldeirs missing in action, particularly the welfare of one who is also an American Citizen. Senator Clinton realizes the value that his eventual return could mean the return of his comrades as well. Here are just two documented examples:

THEN (1999):

I was privileged to announce during the course of my lecture [the Rabin lecture, in Israel] that the President had signed the MIA legislation that will make Israeli MIAs a signal part of American foreign policy, and I think now is the time to press as hard as we possibly can to get answers and force accountability, and I agree with that and will do whatever I can.” – Hillary Rodham Clinton (New York December 14, 1999)

AND NOW (2006):

On Sunday, Rabbi Kenneth Hain, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence, invited U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-New York) to the shul’s library in a gathering of about 30 local religious and political leaders to discuss ways they could revive the case. Other topics were also discussed in the meeting, to which the press was not invited.
“I think the meeting went well,” said Dr. Stuart Ditchek, founder of the Committee for the Release of Zachary Baumel. “Sen. Clinton has really been a great friend to the Baumel family. I think that she feels for the family from a maternalistic standpoint.”
As a powerful Democrat, he said, Clinton will be able to pressure the White House and the State Department to force the Syrians to move on this issue.
He said dealing with the Syrians is very difficult because they are known to change their minds, but he feels the Syrians are ready to negotiate for his release, providing Baumel is indeed alive, since they clamor for U.S. support now.
The meeting was a successful one, according to Mansdorf, who was among those who attended. “There’s always hope,” he said.
“I think she’s overwhelmingly supportive,” Mansdorf said of Clinton. “If there were more people out there like her, we would be making some more progress.”
Mansdorf also praised Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) for her part in trying to uncover more about the case. “She’s been very supportive as well. These two women, perhaps because they are mothers, have been extraordinarily supportive,” Mansdorf said of Clinton and McCarthy.
Baumel, who would now be in his 40s, moved from the U.S. to Israel in 1970 and joined the Israeli army in 1979. He has been missing since June 1982 when he was engaged in a tank battle with Syrian forces on the Lebanon-Syria border. He was serving his last 10 days of army duty when he was captured. Since then, Baumel’s father, Yona, and his mother, Miriam, have not rested, with the search for their son consuming their lives. Although many have given up hope that he is alive, his parents have not. They have met with leaders throughout the world in their quest to find out more about their son’s disappearance.
“This is an important issue in the Jewish community,” Ditchek said. “It’s an important issue in the American community. He’s one of us.”
The missing soldier’s family is now urging people to write letters and send e-mails to government officials, urging them to seek information on the case. Baumel’s father also recently addressed the congregation at Young Israel of Woodmere on Peninsula Boulevard, spelling out his anguish of not being able to see his son for nearly a quarter-century.
Yona Baumel, who immigrated to Israel from New York, recently told Israel TV that he believes his son might still be alive. His hope was renewed after receiving part of a book through a circuitous route from Syria that contained dots under letters that spelled out “Zachary,” in addition to four extra letters that he said were a family joke only his son and daughter would know. The book was handed over to Israeli police, who did not find Baumel’s fingerprints on the book, but determined that there appeared to be emphasized words that could indicate messages like “hope,” “help” and “faith.”

Posted in AIPAC, Carolyn McCarthy, Condi Rice, Gilad Shalit, Hillary Clinton Statements, IDF, Iran, Israel, Jewish Activism, MIA, Zachary Baumel | 3 Comments »

Huh? Hillary Too Tough on Palestinians?

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 22, 2007

What do we make of this?
A pro-Israel lefty peacenik group thinks Hillary Clinton was too harsh on the Palestinian Authority over indoctrination of children.

Posted in AIPAC, Hillary, Hillary Clinton Statements, Israel, Jewish Activism | 3 Comments »

AIPAC Transcript – Read Hillary’s Full Speech

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 5, 2007

Here is the full transcript of Senator Clinton’s keynote address at the Gala Dinner of the American Israel public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) this past thursday evening.

Posted in AIPAC, Israel, Jewish Activism, Record, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

More on Clinton at AIPAC

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 4, 2007

Senator Clinton at AIPAC Dinner

Jacob Berkman at the JTA has this review on Senator Clinton’s keynote speech at the AIPAC Gala. Excerpt:

Observers say Clinton has made strides as a vocal supporter of Israel during her six years as a New York senator, even though she still may be a tough sell to those who have not forgiven her embrace and kiss with Suha Arafat at a November 1999 event in Gaza — just after Arafat had accused Israel of poisoning Palestinian babies.

Clinton claimed Arafat’s comments hadn’t been translated correctly and she became aware of the allegations only after the event.

Still, her supporters say that those who bring up that incident now — after Clinton has consistently supported legislation in support of Israel — are grasping at straws.

Speaking before a crowd of 1,700 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, Clinton described the “unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States based on shared interests and rooted in strength.”

Israel, she said, is a beacon of democracy in a tyrannical neighborhood, and the threats it faces from Hezbollah and Iran are threats not just to Israel but to the entire Middle East, the United States and the rest of the world.

Clinton berated Iran and the Holocaust denial conference in December hosted by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, though she didn’t mention Ahmadinejad’s name.

The conference “was beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptable behavior,” Clinton said, calling it an insult to survivors and Allied solders who bore witness to Nazi atrocities. “To deny the Holocaust places Iran’s leadership in the company of the most despicable bigots and historical revisionists.”

She said the conference only added urgency to the need to deal with Iran.

“U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons,” Clinton said. “As I have said for a long time, no option should be taken off the table” in dealing with this threat.

Posted in AIPAC, Donors, Israel, Jewish Activism, JTA | Leave a Comment »

Senator Clinton Shines at AIPAC Dinner

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 2, 2007

New York Sen. Clinton Says Iran a Threat

“U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons,” Clinton told the audience. “In dealing with this threat … no option can be taken off the table.”

Some 1,700 attendees applauded as she cited her efforts on behalf of the Jewish state and spoke scathingly of Iran’s decision to hold a conference last month that questioned whether the Holocaust took place.

“To deny the Holocaust places Iran’s leadership in company with the most despicable bigots and historical revisionists,” Clinton said, criticizing what she called the Iranian administration’s “pro-terrorist, anti-American, anti-Israeli rhetoric.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called the Holocaust a “myth” and said Israel should be “wiped off the map” and its Jews returned to Europe.

Posted in AIPAC, Hillary Supporters, Israel, Jewish Activism | Leave a Comment »

Hillary To Keynote Major AIPAC Dinner Event

Posted by jewsforhillary on January 25, 2007

Senator  Hillary Clinton will be featured at the annual Northeast regional dinner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee next week. The invitation reads:

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a stalwart supporter of a strong U.S.–Israel relationship during her tenure in the United States Senate. She has been a vocal defender of Israel’s right to build a security fence and has been a tireless advocate of Magen David Adom’s inclusion in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. She was an early co-sponsor of the recently-passed Palestinian Anti- Terrorism Act, legislation that strengthens the ban
on direct aid and contact with the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority.
“Israel’s right to exist, and exist in safety, must never be put in question.”—Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Posted in AIPAC, Israel | Leave a Comment »