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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 »

A Way With Words – His Eloquence, The Would Be President

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 28, 2008

Great piece…

His Eloquence, The Would-Be President
Posted February 27, 2008 | 02:31 PM (EST) SYLVIA WELSH

In the past several weeks, as the democratic race for the nomination comes to its dramatic conclusion, a consistent theme voiced by supporters of each of the two candidates has increasingly revolved around a “war of words.” The argument, on both sides, is that the other candidate is the one whose words cannot be trusted. In this war, the consensus appears to be that Barack Obama is the clear winner, the poet, the “man of words.” This is alternately cited as either his greatest strength or his biggest weakness.

While His Eloquence is undisputed, his authorship has been. Ignoring the doubters of His Eloquence, just yesterday Alec MacGillis in the Washington Post declared that Obama’s most “powerful weapon has been the oldest [of weapons] – words.” Adding to His Eloquence’s aura, Arianna Huffington definitively stated that it was, in fact, Hillary, and not Barack, who should be compared to Bush in her use of words.

Here are some examples of what MacGillis and Huffington would no doubt agree are the “powerful weapons” of eloquent words:

[The greatest generation] “was a generation of Americans who stormed beaches, liberated concentration camps and delivered us from evil. Some never came home.Those who put their medals in drawers went to work and built, on a heroic scale, highways and universities, suburbs and factories, great cities and grand alliances — the strong foundations of an American Century.

Now the question comes to the sons and daughters of this achievement: What is asked of us?

This is a remarkable moment in the life of our nation. Never has the promise of prosperity been so vivid. But times of plenty, likes times of crisis, are tests of American character.

Prosperity can be a tool in our hands, used to build and better our country. Or it can be a drug in our system — dulling our sense of urgency, of empathy, of duty.

Our opportunities are too great, our lives too short, to waste this moment….We will seize this moment of American promise.

We will confront the hard issues — threats to our national security, threats to our health and retirement security — before the challenges of our time become crises for our children…

This nation is daring and decent and ready for change…

But this administration, during eight years of increasing need, did nothing. They had their moment. They have not led. I will.

Our generation has a chance to reclaim some essential values, to show we have grown up before we grow old…

But when the moment for leadership came, this administration did not teach our children, it disillusioned them….

We must teach our children the values that defeat violence. I will lead our nation toward a culture that values life, the life of the elderly and the sick, and the life of the young…

A hundred years from now, this must not be remembered as an age rich in possessions and poor in ideals…

Should I become President, I will work to call upon the best of the nation. A leader’s responsibility is to understand that the great armies of compassion, which exist all across America, must be rallied to make sure no one gets left behind.

It is the role of a leader to share wisdom, to share experience with people who are looking for someone to lead.

I understand the awesome responsibility of this job. I understand the serious undertaking of answering to the calls of mothers and fathers who I see all the time around America, who come to my rallies and hold a picture of their child and look me in the eye and say, ‘Never let us down again.’ I hear those calls.

This country is ready for change. It’s ready for bipartisan leadership. It’s ready for a leader who will bring this great country together. This country wants a leader who understands how to lead, how to bring folks together.

I stand squarely with the people. There’s a big difference in philosophy in this campaign. I’m running against a candidate of Washington, by Washington and for Washington. Mine is a campaign that stands squarely on the side of the people and the families and the workers of America.

It’s time for a leader to bring Republicans and Democrats together. After eight years of partisan bickering and name-calling, it’s time for new leadership to bring Republicans and Democrats together, to be able to say that a promise made is a promise kept, to reject old-style politics that tries to frighten folks, to reject the old business of trying to tear someone down while the issues still remain.

Now is the time for new leadership that understands we must trust younger people…

Now is the time, now is the time, for Republicans and Democrats to end the politics of fear…

On principle, those in the greatest need should receive the greatest help. The world needs America’s strength and leadership.

Thus spoke His Eloquence. However, in the words cited above, His Eloquence is not, as one would suspect, Barack Obama. His Eloquence was a candidate running for President in 2000. His Eloquence was George W. Bush, speaking at the Republican National Convention.

His Eloquence won. And the world lost.

Posted in Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton | Leave a Comment »

Senator Clinton Assails Bush Administration’s Proposal to Slash Homeland Security Funding for First Responders

Posted by jewsforhillary on December 4, 2007

Senator Clinton Assails Bush Administration’s Proposal to Slash Homeland Security Funding for First Responders

We hope our friends at Hatzolah are paying attention to important matters like this…

Clinton: President’s Cuts Would Have Drastic Impact on New York’s Homeland Security Efforts Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today, amid recent reports the Administration plans to drastically slash homeland security funds for first responders, called on the President to reconsider these cuts, and to provide information regarding how any reduction to homeland security funding would make our nation safer. In a letter today to President Bush, Senator Clinton cited the importance of federal homeland security dollars for our nation’s police, firefighters, and other first responders, and the effect such drastic budget cuts would have on port and transit security and local emergency management operations in New York and through the country.

“With the Administration’s own findings in their National Intelligence Estimate that our homeland is under a ‘heightened threat environment,’ and that Al Qaeda is undiminished in its goal in attacking us here at home, it is unconscionable that the President’s budget would seek to slash the federal funding for homeland security by more than half,” said Senator Clinton. “While large urban areas like New York continue to remain high profile targets, we must do everything possible to ensure that our first responders are provided with the funding and resources that are critical to their success on the frontline of our homeland security efforts. I am profoundly disappointed in the President’s plan, and will continue to press this issue until our nation’s first responders receive the funding necessary to get the job done.”

Senator Clinton’s letter to President Bush is attached –

December 1, 2007
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Recent reports indicate that in your Fiscal Year 2009 budget, you intend to drastically slash homeland security funds for our first responders. A recent National Intelligence Estimate could not have been clearer when it said that our homeland is under a “heightened threat environment” and that Al Qaeda is undeterred and determined to attack us here at home. In October of this year, you issued the National Strategy for Homeland Security, which detailed many of the threats against our nation.

In light of these facts, it is unimaginable to hear that you would cut funding for our nation’s law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders by more than half. According to news accounts, your plan for the coming year includes the elimination of programs for port security, transit security and local emergency management operations. Reductions like this to some of the core functions of our homeland security would be extremely irresponsible. Your budget outlines the fiscal priorities for the coming year. If these news reports are correct, then I believe you have greatly underestimated the threats we face. Securing our homeland requires constant vigilance and we must do everything within our power to improve our level of preparedness. These reported cuts undermine those efforts. As a Senator from New York, I know first hand the importance of these critical programs and the drastic impact any funding reductions would have to New York’s, as well as to our nation’s homeland security efforts.

For the sake of our nation’s homeland defense I implore you to reconsider any proposed cuts to our critical homeland security programs. Before any proposed reductions in funding for our homeland security, I respectfully request that you provide a detailed plan on how any reduction in critical homeland security funds would make our country safer. Homeland security funding decisions should be completely based on the threats facing our homeland, not any political considerations.

I look forward to hearing your response.

Sincerely,
Hillary Rodham Clinton

Posted in George W. Bush, Hatzolah, Hillary Clinton Statements | 2 Comments »

ZOA: Senator Clinton Strongly Supports Undivided Jerusalem & Defensible Borders For Israel

Posted by jewsforhillary on October 9, 2007

This is a special note to all those in the community who seek to convince people of this preposterous idea that somehow Hillary and the democratic party is not supportive of Israel and it’s security, and that somehow George W. Bush Amazing acknowlegement from the ultra right-wing  Zionist Organization of America:

October 02, 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Morton A. Klein, 212-481-1500 http://www.zoa.org/2007/10/senator_clinton.htm

Hillary Clinton makes it clear that Israel can’t go back to pre-67 borders

New York — Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has recently reiterated a position she originally enunciated in 1999 when she stated that, “I personally consider Jerusalem the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel” and also called for secure, defensible borders for Israel. Senator Clinton’s office has issued a paper, ‘Hillary Clinton: A Long History of Strong and Steadfast Leadership for the U.S.-Israel Relationship,’ which states that “Hillary Clinton believes that Israel’s right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned” ( New York Sun, September 17).

Senator Clinton’s stance is in line with Congressional support for the indivisibility of Jerusalem. In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which calls for the U.S. Embassy to Israel to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Regrettably since that time, both Presidents Clinton and Bush have exercised waivers to defer implementing this law, passed by overwhelming 90% plus majorities in both Houses of Congress.

Senator Clinton’s support for defensible borders for Israel is also important and consistent with the way these were explicitly defined by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In his last address to the Knesset, delivered on October 5, 1995, one month before his assassination, Prime Minister Rabin said that in his peace vision, the

State of Israel … will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state … “The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines … The security border of the State of Israel will be located in the Jordan Valley, in the broadest meaning of that term … [Israel will undertake] the establishment of blocs of settlements in Judea and Samaria … The responsibility for external security along the borders with Egypt and Jordan, as well as control over the airspace above all of the territories and Gaza Strip maritime zone, remains in our hands.

There is a growing number of military and Middle East experts as well as others who oppose the establishment of a Palestinian State, arguing it would only become another terrorist entity, not a viable democracy. They include former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon; former head of the CIA, R. James Woolsey; Mideast scholar, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University, Bernard Lewis; Dr. Daniel Pipes, Director of the Middle East Forum and former New York Mayor, Rudolf Giuliani. ZOA’s Morton A. Klein has noted that Iran, North Korea, and Syria are sovereign states, yet are not peace-loving in consequence and that statehood does not guarantee a peaceful law-abiding country or society but on the contrary may only strengthen the promotion of violence and extremism espoused by the underlying culture

FLASHBACK: (just sayin…)
Bush’s Call For Return To 1967 Borders Conflicts With Promises Made To Sharon

June 03, 2004  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  Contact: Morton A. Klein, 212-481-1500 http://www.zoa.org/2004/06/zoa_bushs_call.htm NEW YORK- The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is requesting clarification of the apparent contradiction between President Bush’s latest call for Israel to return to the indefensible 1967 borders, and the promise he made to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon less than two months ago that Israel would not be expected to return to those borders.
In his remarks at the United States Air Force Academy Graduation Ceremony on June 2, 2004, President Bush described his “Road Map” plan as “the most reliable guide to ending the occupation that began in 1967.”
But in his April 16 meeting with Prime Minister Sharon, at the White House, President Bush said that “it is unrealistic to expect … a full and complete return” by Israel to the pre-1967 borders.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “We respectfully request that President Bush clarify the apparent contradiction between his latest statement and his promises to Sharon. We hope that the administration has not returned to the old State Department position of demanding that Israel retreat to the indefensible 1967 borders, leaving Israel just nine miles wide at its vulnerable mid-section which is why Abba Eban described those borders as ‘Auschwitz lines’.”
The ZOA notes that there have been additional indications that the Bush administration has backtracked on the promises to Sharon, including the May 3 Quartet statement that Israel “must end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967”; the May 6 statement by President Bush, after meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II, that the U.S. would not take any positions that would “prejudice” negotiations over the borders; and President Bush’s May 17 speech to AIPAC, in which he conspicuously failed to reiterate the promises he made to Prime Minister Sharon even though he was speaking to a pro-Israel audience that would have appreciated such a statement.
The ZOA points out that the claim that there is still an Israeli ‘occupation’ of the Palestinian Arabs is a myth. Those parts of Judea-Samaria-Gaza where 98.5% of the Palestinian Arabs reside are under the rule of the Palestinian Authority, not Israel. The Israelis withdrew from those areas during 1994-1997. The PA currently rules more than 80% of the Gaza Strip and more than 40% of the Judea-Samaria territories. Those parts of Judea-Samaria that Israel still controls should be characterized as disputed, not occupied. No other country has a valid legal claim to the area, and even Jordan, which illegally occupied it from 1949-1967, publicly relinquished its claim in a speech by King Hussein back in 1988. Moreover, Israel’s legal, historical, and religious claim to those areas is far stronger than the claims of the Palestinian Arabs or any other party.

Posted in Clinton Campaign, Condi Rice, George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Mort Klein, Republican Jewish Coalition, ZOA | 3 Comments »