Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category
Posted by jewsforhillary on September 23, 2008
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.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senator
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: clinton, Hillary, hoenlein, Iran, rally | 2 Comments »
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 »
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 12, 2008
When asked how she would react if Iran waged a nuclear attack on Israel, Senator Clinton replied that she would obliterate Iran. (Indiana senator Evan Bayh Bayh agrees). Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch here defends senator Clinton against crticism by Obama for her response.
Ed Koch Commentary May 10, 2008
Senator Barack Obama won the North Carolina primary by 14 percentage points. Senator Hillary Clinton won the Indiana primary by a narrower margin of two percent. Neither candidate scored a knockout punch, but Obama came out ahead.
Clearly Senator Obama who had the most to lose – it would have been considered a huge loss if Indiana went big for Hillary – also had the most to gain. The race goes on and will go on until a decision is made at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The fat lady here is Hillary, and she won’t sing. I’m part of her primary campaign until she wins or withdraws. I simply do not trust Senator Obama’s judgment.
Obama’s actions in not standing up to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and protest the minister’s attacks on white America, the United States government and the State of Israel, and his support of Minister Louis Farrakhan, are important matters. No one accuses Obama of adopting any of Rev. Wright’s positions as his own. Indeed, he has denounced them. But his denouncement comes 20 years too late and only after Rev. Wright denounced his heretofore devoted congregant as a hypocrite for conveying his disagreement with his minister, stating at the National Press Club on April 28th, “We both know that, if Senator Obama did not say what he said, he would never get elected. Politicians say what they say and do what they do based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls, Huffington, whoever’s doing the polls. Preachers say what they say because they’re pastors.”
Yes, it is true that not many people would stand up in a church or synagogue and publicly argue with their minister, but surely, there are some who would argue privately – which was not done here – and even more who would leave a church or synagogue that was led by someone spouting hateful speech.
In any event, we expect more courage from a candidate for president of this great country. We are now engaged in a war against Islamic terrorism and are in need of someone who can be trusted to advocate on behalf of the United States. Senator Obama, regrettably, was silent for too long.
An even more telling incident recently occurred. Hillary Clinton responded to the threats of the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has stated, “The annihilation of the Zionist regime will come…Israel must be wiped off the map…And God willing…we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism.”
This week, according to The New York Times, “Ahmadinejad called Israel ‘a stinking corpse’ that was doomed to fail, and warned countries that they would ‘burn in the fire of their people’s hatred’ if they helped Israel, the news agency IRNA reported. ‘Today the reason for Zionist regime’s existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation,’ he said in a speech on the 60th anniversary of the Jewish state.”
We know that were Iran, which is on the verge of creating nuclear weapons and already has the capacity to deliver them, ever to launch such missiles at the United States or any NATO ally, it could expect immediate oblivion as the result of the U.S. response. Hillary recently attempted to warn Iran that were it to launch nuclear weapons against Israel, the U.S. “would be able to totally obliterate them.” Hillary’s comments were totally in keeping with the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction which kept the Soviet Union at bay during the Cold War when it threatened its European neighbors and members of NATO.
Instead of joining Hillary in a similar warning to Iran, Senator Obama on “Meet The Press” criticized Hillary stating, “It’s language reflective of George Bush…This kind of language is not helpful.”
Hillary’s language is exactly what was warranted. The Soviet Union understood the meaning of mutually assured destruction and consequently refrained from using its nuclear inventory. Lesser language conveying not destruction or obliteration, but simply lesser punishment encourages fanatical countries like Iran to believe they can attack our allies and survive.
Hillary’s statement regarding Iran and Israel was consistent with U.S. policy towards Israel. As Vice President Dick Cheney has said, “America’s commitment to Israel’s security is enduring and unshakable, as is our commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself always against terrorism, rocket attacks and other threats from forces dedicated to Israel’s destruction. The United States will never pressure Israel to take steps that threaten its security.”
We now know just how far Senator Obama is prepared to go to defend our friends and allies. It is not far enough.
Posted in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Israel, Israeli Security | Tagged: ed koch, Hillary, Iran, Israel, nukes | 10 Comments »
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 8, 2008
Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Occasion of Israel’s 60th Anniversary
I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Israel on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment as a state and homeland for the Jewish people, and I join all the friends of Israel who celebrate today with joy and pride.
Emerging after the tragedy of the Holocaust, the Jewish State was reborn after two thousand years, fulfilling the biblical prophecy of a return to Zion. Since then, in just three score years, Israel has welcomed Jewish exiles from Europe, the Arab world, Africa, and the former Soviet Union.
From my first trip to Israel in 1982 to my most recent visit in 2005, I have seen for myself Israel’s achievements – and its challenges. The people of Israel, proud and free and always triumphing in the face of adversity, have built a strong and vibrant democracy, a diverse and rich society, and an innovative and thriving economy.
Yet today, even as we celebrate all that Israel has achieved, we know that the Jewish state is still not safe. In every generation, Israel faces serious challenges to its security and threats to its existence. And just as the United States recognized Israel at birth, and has always stood by Israel when its survival and well-being were challenged, so too do the American people stand by Israel today, united by shared values and strong bonds of friendship.
As President of the United States, I will be proud to continue and strengthen these bonds, so that the State of Israel will continue to grow, from generation to generation, in security and peace.
Am Yisrael Chai! (the people of Israel live!)
Posted in 2008, Hamas, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Israel, Jews, jews for hillary, Sderot | 2 Comments »
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 2, 2008
Hillary Clinton Statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day
“This week, we remember the millions of men, women, and children who perished during the Holocaust; and as we do, we ask, ‘What must we do to ensure that this kind of destruction will never happen again?’
“We reflect on the lives that were lost, the courage of those who stood up to the Nazis, like the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; and those of all faiths who risked everything to save lives. On this somber day, I am also reminded of the Holocaust survivors that came to this country, and who have greatly enriched our nation with their talent, energy, and dreams. Their stories and their willingness to share them will guarantee that future generations will never forget.
“The lessons of the Holocaust call us to act. As my friend, Elie Wiesel, said, ‘…to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all…’ Let us today renew our pledge that we will not be indifferent to moral injustice in the world; that we will not remain silent; and that we will speak out against crimes against humanity, threats of extermination, and genocide, such as that now being perpetuated in Darfur. We must act so that we may truly say to the world, ‘Never again.'”
Posted in Elie Wiesel, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Holocaust, Israel, Jews | Tagged: Hillary, Holocaust, obama | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on March 6, 2008
Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem
Washington, DC – “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families who are suffering the loss and horror of this despicable act of terrorism. The United States and the international community must make clear that such deplorable acts of terrorism will not be tolerated and we must continue to stand with Israel in its fight against terror.”
Arab terrorists entered the library in a jewish seminary in Jerusalem and sprayed the place with what some report to have been between five and siz hundred bullets. Eight young students were murdered and over a dozen more injured. [See here and here]
It seems as though thus far, several hours after the attack, that Senator Clinton is the only one of the three people hoping to become the next US president that has even bothered to or cared to say anything or to take a stand regarding this horrific event.
UPDATE: 116 Photos of the carnage and aftermath | More
Posted in Hamas, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Israel, Israeli Security, Terrorism | 5 Comments »
Posted by jewsforhillary on February 27, 2008
(For yesterday) Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida to The New York Sun:
“The main reason she wins and will continue to win the majority of the Jewish vote is this is a community very much about ‘Show me, don’t tell me,'”
“With Senator Obama, although he says all the right things, he just doesn’t have that longevity to prove to Jewish voters that he will be there like Hillary Clinton.”
Asked if there was anything specific in Mr. Obama’s record that should give Jewish voters pause, the congresswoman said, “There’s no pause. It’s just that he’s starting completely from scratch.”
Posted in Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Jews, jews for hillary | 5 Comments »
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 »
Posted by jewsforhillary on November 20, 2007
Forman offers a brief but pointed rebuke of Kramer’s abuse of Israel in a paltry and illegitimate attempt to demonize Senator Hillary Clinton
Before delving into the specific charges offered by Kramer, it is important to note that Senator Clinton has been a great supporter of Israel throughout her career, and is one of Israel’s strongest friends in the US Senate. She led the charge for Red Cross recognition of Magen David Adom and has an impeccable voting record.If Hillary were but a fair weather friend of Israel, as Kramer suggests, she surely would not enjoy the immense popularity she has seen in New York. One simply does not get re-elected in the Empire State with 67% of the vote if there is even a smidgeon of legitimate doubt about one’s support for Israel.
Here is what the Orthodox newspaper, The Jewish Press, which opposed Clinton in 2000, wrote in support of her candidacy for re-election to the Senate in 2006: “As regards Israel, she has become an important supporter of the Jewish state both in public and, perhaps more importantly, behind the scenes. She is held in the highest regard by those who regularly plead Israel’s cause in the halls of government. For those who initially were wary of her positions on Middle East issues – and we include ourselves in that category – Ms. Clinton has proved to be a pleasant and welcome surprise ….”
AS FOR Kramer’s specific arguments, to say he is fishing for a reason to bash Senator Clinton is an understatement. For instance, he takes a paragraph from the Senator’s recent Foreign Affairs article, “Security and Opportunity for the Twenty-First Century” and claims that it is “loaded with allusions and references that the casual reader is likely to miss, but that send a clear signal on the high frequency of the ‘peace process.’ The message is this: a Hillary administration would constantly busy itself with Israeli-Palestinians talks, regardless of their prospects, and would strive to avoid any appearance of partiality – toward Israel.”
Kramer’s assertion is patently absurd, as is apparent to anyone who reads the passage in question. Here is the passage that Kramer suggests is filled with anti-Israeli “signals”: Getting out of Iraq will enable us to play a constructive role in a renewed Middle East peace process that would mean security and normal relations for Israel and the Palestinians. The fundamental elements of a final agreement have been clear since 2000: a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank in return for a declaration that the conflict is over, recognition of Israel’s right to exist, guarantees of Israeli security, diplomatic recognition of Israel, and normalization of its relations with Arab states. US diplomacy is critical in helping to resolve this conflict. In addition to facilitating negotiations, we must engage in regional diplomacy to gain Arab support for a Palestinian leadership that is committed to peace and willing to engage in a dialogue with the Israelis. Whether or not the United States makes progress in helping to broker a final agreement, consistent US involvement can lower the level of violence and restore our credibility in the region.
If this passage were truly objectionable, surely Kramer would say the same about the Bush Administration’s efforts to broker Israeli-Palestinian agreements at Annapolis. And what, Mr. Kramer, are we to think of Condoleezza Rice’s assertion that “We appear to be on course to prepare seriously for continuous ongoing negotiations,” and that “I can really say without fear of contradiction that everybody’s goal is the creation” of a Palestinian state?”
Perhaps the biggest discernable difference in Kramer’s eyes is that Clinton’s comments were made by a Democrat – and political foe – while Rice’s were made by a Republican political ally. Mr. Kramer is a member of Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy team.
To attempt to demagogue the Israel issue, as Kramer has done in his piece about Senator Clinton, is counterproductive to all of us who care about the future of the US-Israel relationship. This type of tawdry political stunt serves only to cheapen the political discourse. The true best interests of Israel have been, are, and will continue to be best served through a strong, bipartisan consensus.
Posted in Hillary Clinton, Israel, National jewish Dmeocratic Council, NJDC, The Jerusalem Post | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on November 12, 2007
In the piece U.S. Presidential Hopefuls Running after Jewish Voters appearing on the Right Wing Israeli outlet Arutz Sheva / IsraelNational News and reposted by the ultra right wing group the Zionist Organization of America by Sarah Morrison, acknowleges and points out some interesting things. Most importantly, it breaks down the myths that somehow Clinton might not be as good on Israel and that Bush was supposedly so great.
Democratic candidate Senator Hillary Clinton has, by far, the most experience dealing with the Middle East of all the likely presidential candidates, according to Schenker.
However, history tells us that “a candidate who becomes President changes his policy once in office,” observed Steve Goldberg, a Los Angeles lawyer who serves as the National Vice President of the Zionist Organization of America. “Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were unequivocal in their support of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem when they were running for President, but neither kept his promise. Pro-Israel advocates in the United States expect that a President will not keep all of his or her promises once elected.”
He pointed out that although “she [Senator Clinton] wants Jerusalem to stay the indivisible capital, there is a prevailing view that she would actively broker an agreement with the Palestinians, even if it included sharing the sovereignty of Jerusalem.”
Senator Clinton “has been very active in Israel for a very long time,” Schenker claimed. “Her time as First Lady [married to former President Bill Clinton] gave her a lot of experience in the Middle East. She has visited there many times and has been active in promoting the peace process, along with her husband. Senator Clinton does the most important thing to help: she promotes the peace process,” he added.
Schenker also revealed that if elected, Senator Clinton plans to appoint a senior ambassador to the Middle East to work specifically on Israeli-Arab peace. He stated that the other Democratic candidates share similar positions on the Middle East, although most of them have not taken specific positions beyond maintaining they are friends of the Jewish state.
An underlying issue of all these acknowlegements is the fact that the focus alluded to is on peace, whereas the current Bush / Rice game is focused specifically on the foremost goal of a Palestinian State, with peace being the afterthought.
Posted in Israel | 1 Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on October 7, 2007
Hillary Supported Israel, Condi Didnt.
Who ever thought we would see the day in which HILLARY CLINTON would fully support Israel and it’s military action – an attack on Syria to take out nuclear devices – Only to find out a few days later that Bush administration’s own CONDI RICE was against the measure – with the added silly idea that Israel is somehow going to “destabilize” the Middle East. Has she taken a look at Iraq recently? Is it at all stable? Is Iraq still in the Middle East, or has it been relocated to an alternative region?
Posted in Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Israel, Syria | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on October 3, 2007
Senator Clinton Calls on Bush Administration to Engage Middle East Allies in Effort to Resolve Arab-Israeli Conflict
Commitment from Friendly Arab States Critical to Success in Upcoming Meeting to Address Arab-Israeli Conflict
Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton joined her Senate colleagues, led by Senators Schumer and Graham, in urging the Bush Administration to seek the support of America’s allies in the Middle East as they move forward with plans for a future international meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In a letter to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the Senators stressed that the inclusion and cooperation of Arab countries with close relations to the United States would be a critical factor in the success of such a meeting.
“Peace in the Middle East can not be achieved without a full diplomatic effort by the Administration that encourages America’s Arab allies in the region to take an active, and positive role in the process,” said Senator Clinton. As the Administration moves forward with plans for an international meeting to address the situation, it is my sincere hope that the Secretary of State does not pass up this pivotal opportunity to reach out to these nations to enlist their aid. However, we must also insist that their participation must be substantial, visible, and constructive as we take the next steps in attempting to bring peace and stability to the region.”
The letter to Secretary of State Rice is attached –
October 2, 2007
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Department of State
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice,
As you step up American diplomatic actions and prepare for a future international meeting on the Arab-Israeli conflict, we believe it is essential that other key players in the Middle East also step up and meet their responsibilities. The success of such a meeting, and ultimately the peace process itself, will depend on the cooperation we receive from the larger Arab world, particularly from those Arab states with close relations with the United States who have not yet signed agreements with Israel. Your ongoing efforts to work with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are critical, but so is the support these efforts receive from those Arab countries.
We know that in the past, the lack of sufficient support from some of the Arab states have made it difficult to reach earlier agreements. We also know that, for many years, many of these countries have been insisting on greater involvement by the Administration in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Now that you and the Administration are indeed more actively engaged in Middle East diplomacy on an ongoing basis, we also believe that these Arab states should step forward with concrete, positive actions to promote peace and stability in the region.
In particular, you should press friendly Arab countries that have not yet done so, to:
1) Participate in the upcoming international meeting and be a full partner of the United States in advancing regional peace;
2) Take visible, meaningful steps in the financial, diplomatic and political arena to help Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad govern effectively and meet their obligations to fight terror;
3) Stop support for terrorist groups and cease all anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement;
4) Recognize Israel’s right to exist and not use such recognition as a bargaining chip for future Israeli concessions;
5) End the Arab League economic boycott of Israel in all of its forms; and
6) Pressure Hamas to recognize Israel, reject terror and accept prior agreements, and isolate Hamas until it takes such steps.
We are encouraged that you are working hard to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. The governments of Israel and the Palestinians are also working as best they can towards that goal. However without a sincere commitment from our allies in the Middle East to be partners in this effort, peace in the region will remain elusive.
We appreciate your attention to this critical matter.
Posted in Hamas, Hillary, Hillary Clinton Statements, Holocaust denial, Israel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on September 17, 2007
Clinton Reminds Voters Of Commitment to Israel
Last Tuesday, prior to the start of the Jewish High Holiday season, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign circulated a paper articulating her support for Israel. Headlined “Hillary Clinton: A Long History of Strong and Steadfast Leadership for the U.S.-Israel Relationship,” the statement addressed Mrs. Clinton’s positions on Israel’s fight against terrorism, the threat of Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, and Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital. “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,” the paper states.
The release of the policy paper on the eve of a contentious season harkens back to a high-profile statement Mrs. Clinton made on Jerusalem as she made her early strides to the Senate seat held by Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1999. Back then, she penned a letter to Mandell Ganchrow, the president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, highlighting the importance of Jerusalem: “I personally consider Jerusalem the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel.”
When Mrs. Clinton sought her Senate seat, shoring up Jewish support was essential. Several months after her July 1999 missive on Jerusalem, she kissed Suha Arafat after the wife of the Palestinian Authority’s leader had accused Israel of using poison gas against its people. Over time, Mrs. Clinton’s advocacy for Israel on the campaign trail and in the Senate helped solidify her backing among this voting bloc.
“I’m comfortable with Hillary’s positions. I’m proud of Hillary’s positions. I believe she’s been successful over the years building a broad base of supporters. I think she’s appealing to progressive voters, centrist voters, and those for whom Israel and Israel’s national security is their single most important issue,” said Steve Grossman, a former president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and a Clinton adviser on Middle East issues.
Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist, said Mrs. Clinton’s stance on Israel and Jerusalem made policy and political sense — despite potentially angering many in the liberal base of her party. “It is consistent with her positioning of the last several years. She is not a liberal on foreign policy matters,” Mr. Sheinkopf said.
Posted in 2008, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Iran, Israel, Jerusalem | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on September 16, 2007
Hillary Clinton campaign position paper on Israel – Sept. 10, 2007
From her first trip to Israel on New Year’s Day in 1982 through her years as a U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton has a long history of steadfast leadership on behalf of a strong US-Israel relationship. Her connection to the State of Israel, which began when she brought an innovative Israeli preschool education program to Arkansas, has grown, and today, she stands as one of Israel’s leading defenders and supporters in the United States Senate.
The importance of the US-Israel relationship:
Hillary Clinton has a deep and abiding commitment to a strong US-Israel relationship – one rooted in the shared tradition of open democracy, free expression, women’s rights, the rule of law, and reinforced by our shared interest for peace, freedom, and prosperity. She believes that this unbreakable bond, which has been a hallmark of American foreign policy for more than 50 years, must continue to be the cornerstone of America’s Middle East policy. Hillary recognizes that Israel is a most important strategic ally against the scourge of terrorism and radicalism. She has proven this commitment by consistently leading the way in support of legislation that strengthens this mutually-beneficial relationship. “Israel,” she said, “is not only a friend and ally for us; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should be.” [AIPAC 5/24/05]
Standing with Israel against terrorism:
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. Having visited Israel more than half a dozen times on both political and personal trips, Hillary has first-hand understanding of the challenges that Israel faces. “It is essential for those of us who care deeply about what is happening in and to Israel, to recognize that Israel’s struggle is a struggle on behalf of a future where people will be able to live with peace and security.” [AIPAC 2/1/07]. Hillary has consistently stood with Israel in its fight against terrorism. She was a strong supporter of Israel’s right to build a security barrier and spoke out against the International Court of Justice for questioning Israel’s right to do so. Hillary introduced legislation calling for the immediate release of the three Israeli soldiers being held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah and co-sponsored a resolution expressing support for Israel during last summer’s war with Lebanon. As a co-sponsor of the Syria Accountability Act, Hillary also believes that the United States must pressure Syria to stop hosting, supporting and sponsoring international terrorist groups that threaten both US troops in the Middle East and our ally, Israel.
Stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions:
Hillary Clinton believes that Iran’s nuclear pursuit, coupled with its leadership’s despicable anti-Semitic rhetoric, require that the United States do everything it can to deny nuclear weapons to 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. And in dealing with this threat, as I have said for a very long time, no option can be taken off the table.” [Speech on the floor of Senate 2/14/07] Hillary has issued statements denouncing the Iranian President’s anti-Israel rhetoric and denial of the Holocaust, and called on Secretary Rice to place the United States at the forefront of delivering a strong, united, and unambiguous condemnation before the international community. Hillary believes that the United States should use every tool in its arsenal – from imposing economic sanctions to siphoning off funds for Iran’s nuclear program to initiating a process of direct engagement with Iran. Since she was elected to the Senate in 2000, Hillary has been a strong leader on legislative action aimed at mounting economic and political pressure on Iran through support of the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act and the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act. Hillary also believes in pursuing vigorous diplomacy with Iran. Just as the US government was engaged in direct talks with the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, so today should the US talk to Iran in order to gain valuable insight, intelligence and information about how to pressure its leadership to change course. But Hillary has said that as president she would not commit to personal meetings with leaders of rogue states without conditions, such as Iran. In dealing with our adversaries, she would plan carefully, and lay the groundwork, and make sure that we achieve meaningful progress as the most responsible way to enhance U.S. security.
Securing Magen David Adom’s acceptance into the International Committee of the Red Cross:
Outraged by the exclusion of Magen David Adom from the International Red Cross, Hillary Clinton became a champion for MDA’s cause. She sponsored legislation that limited US contributions to the International Committee of the Red Cross until it recognized MDA, urged the Swiss government to find a solution that would bestow full participation for the MDA, and spoke out tirelessly on this issue. Finally in the summer of 2006, the ICRC righted this historic wrong and admitted MDA into the International Red Cross.
The leading voice against Anti-Semitism in Palestinian schools:
In 1999, Hillary first spoke out against the textbooks used in Palestinian schools, which reject Israel’s right to exist and describe Israel’s founding as “a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history.” Hillary has led the charge against this propaganda which she says indoctrinates instead of educates Palestinian children and actively prevents these young people from seeing Israel as a potential neighbor. As a Senator, Hillary continued to emphasize this issue, most recently joining with Palestinian Media Watch in February 2007 to release a new report that exposed the continuing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic biases in Palestinian schoolbooks.
The Hamas terror campaign has claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians in Israel and as a co-sponsor of the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act in 2006, Hillary voted to prevent any U.S. foreign assistance to flow to a Palestinian government in which Hamas was a participant. Hillary believes that Hamas and indeed all Palestinian groups need to demonstrate clearly and unequivocally their commitment to peace by renouncing violence and terror, recognizing Israel’s right to exist, and complying with previously signed agreements.
Foreign aid to Israel:
Hillary Clinton has consistently supported the annual foreign aid bill which in 2007 for Israel contained $2.34 billion in military aid, $120 million for economic assistance, and $40 million for refugee absorption. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Hillary also advocates for US-Israel defense and security cooperation and has met with Israeli leaders to discuss shared challenges and common interests.
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Posted by jewsforhillary on September 16, 2007
UPDATE: Here is a link to the text of the circulated position paper on Israel.
In her new position paper on Israel, Hillary Rodham Clinton comes not only to praise the Jewish state but to bury doubts that she would be any less vigilant in its protection than the Bush administration.
It says Clinton, the U.S. senator from New York and frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination “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.”Clinton’s paper comes at a time when the Bush administration is quietly pressing the Israelis and the Palestinians to come up with a final-status outline ahead of a November peace conference — one that would address, among other issues, redrawn borders and a shared Jerusalem.
Spokesmen for Clinton denied that the language was timed to undercut the latest initiative.
“She’s had these positions for a long time and those haven’t changed,” spokesman Jin Chon told JTA. “Her experience and strength on supporting Israel have been steadfast. The paper is just a reflection of her consistent policy.”
Perhaps, but Clinton faces challenges for Jewish support from two flanks: Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who is a Republican front-runner, has moved even further to the right of Bush, saying that now is not the time to consider Palestinian statehood. And Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, has made considerable inroads among liberal Jewish donors.
Despite the stepped-up challenges from Obama and Giuliani, a recent poll of 200 rabbis from all of the major denominations named her as the presidential candidate most supportive of Israel and Jewish causes.
According to the survey conducted by a synagogue innovation and leadership organization called STAR, Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal, Clinton polled highest on the Israel question, at 22 percent, followed by Giuliani at 16 percent and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 3 percent.
Clinton also was ranked as most supportive of Jewish causes in America in general with 24 percent, followed again by Giuliani with 10 percent and Obama with 3 percent.
Ben Chouake, who heads New Jersey-based NORPAC, one of the most successful pro-Israel political action fund-raising committees, gave high marks to Clinton’s paper.
“I think it’s helpful,” Choake said, but added that he liked Giuliani’s approach of counting out Palestinian statehood for now “the best.”
“If you want to make a deal, you have to have someone you can make a deal with that’s credible and reliable, that can afford to make the deal, otherwise you’re surrendering,” he said.
Otherwise, the paper is a compendium of Israel-related issues Clinton has tried to make her own: She cites her lead in successful efforts to admit Israel’s first responder umbrella, Magen David Adom, into the International Committee of the Red Cross, and her adoption of the campaign to expose alleged incitement found in Palestinian textbooks.
Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Iran, Israel, Israeli Security, Jerusalem, John Edwards, John McCain, NORPAC, Palestinian Media Watch, Rudy Giuliani | 1 Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on September 10, 2007
Rabbis see Clinton as top Israel backer (JTA)
A plurality of rabbis named U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as the presidential candidate most supportive of Israel.
A synagogue innovation and leadership organization called STAR, Synagogues: Transformation and Renewal, surveyed 200 rabbis of all denominations in its second annual pre-Rosh Hashanah survey.
“Eight in 10 rabbis (82 percent — unchanged from last year) say they are more inclined to back political candidates who are pro-Israel over those who are not viewed as pro-Israel,” the surveyors concluded. “When asked which party is more supportive of Israel, almost half, 49 percent, say there is no difference in parties, 21 percent point to the Republican Party as more supportive, down from 35 percent last year, whereas 16 percent cite the Democratic Party as more supportive of Israel, a slight increase from 14 percent last year.”
Asked which candidate is most supportive of Israel, 41 percent said they were unsure. Clinton polled highest, at 22 percent, followed by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, at 16 percent, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at 3 percent. Clinton also was ranked as most supportive of Jewish causes in America in general with 24 percent, followed again by Giuliani with 10 percent and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) with 3 percent.
Posted in Barack Obama, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Jewish Politics | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jewsforhillary on September 10, 2007
Clinton commits on borders, Jerusalem JTA
Hillary Clinton committed to an Israel with “defensible borders” and “an undivided Jerusalem as its capital” in her Israel position paper.
“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,” the Democratic senator from New York and frontrunner for the presidential nomination said in her paper released Monday to JTA.
Those positions come just as Israel is considering a final-status offer to the Palestinians that would include sharing Jerusalem, giving up much of the West Bank and offering land swaps.
In the position paper, Clinton also said the United States should “do everything it can to deny nuclear weapons to Iran” and that “no option can be taken off the table.” The paper adds: “Hillary believes that the United States should use every tool in its arsenal — from imposing economic sanctions to siphoning off funds for Iran’s nuclear program to initiating a process of direct engagement with Iran.”
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Posted by jewsforhillary on July 5, 2007
Question #4 in the Jerusalem Post feature “on the road to the Whitehouse” concerns Hamas and Gaza, and was asked and answered by several US Presidential candidates, both Democrats and Republicans.
JPost:”What would be your policy on Gaza’s transformation into an Iranian-influenced “Hamastan”? Isolation? Engagement with Hamas? Encouraging Mahmoud Abbas to rebuild ties to Hamas, or to try and wrest back physical control?…”
Hillary Clinton: The Hamas takeover of Gaza is deeply disturbing, increasing the danger to Israeli citizens already under attack from rockets fired indiscriminately from the Gaza territory. In the last few weeks, these rockets have killed three people and wounded many more.
The United States must continue to support our ally, Israel, as it defends itself against these attacks and insist that Hamas cannot be recognized until it renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel’s right to exist.
Israel and the international community are committed to supporting the new government of Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, strengthening the PA and its ability to meet its responsibilities, in direct contrast to Hamas.
The appointment of former British Prime Minster Tony Blair as the new Quartet Representative will support efforts to create viable and lasting Palestinian government institutions, strengthen the Palestinian economy, and ensure that the resulting benefits reach the Palestinian people.
I believe the United States should strongly support these efforts. There are not many good options at this difficult time, but the security of Israel and of the Middle East is best served by helping to create a Palestinian Authority that can provide tangible benefits and a better life for its people, in contrast to the violence and isolation offered by Hamas.
Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, Hamas, Hillary Clinton, Israel, Joe Biden, John McCain, Sam Brownback | Leave a Comment »