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
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 »