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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 »

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 »

Clinton Speech at NJDC Conference

Posted by jewsforhillary on May 1, 2007

Senator Clinton was among the many speakers at the recent first ever Washington Conference of the National jewish Democratic Council:   Clinton scores with Jewish Democrats

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

Orthodox Union Commends Hillary Clinton; Colleagues

Posted by jewsforhillary on March 6, 2007

OU commends Senators Clinton and Voinovich, and Reps. Ackerman and Ros-Lehtinen for Demanding Immediate Release of Captive Israeli Soldiers

Today, the OU commended a resolution introduced yesterday by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and George V. Voinovich (R-OH) which called for the immediate and unconditional release of three Israeli soldiers held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah, it also urges the militant groups to allow prompt medical treatment of the soldiers by representatives of the International Red Cross. The three soldiers are Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were abducted by Hezbollah on July 12, 2006 and Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas on June 25, 2006. The resolution expresses ongoing concern and sympathy for the families of the three soldiers and all other missing soldiers of Israel. A Similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Gary Ackerman, Ileana Ros-Lehitenen and others.

Additionally, the resolution condemns Hamas and Hezbollah for cross border attacks that led to the kidnappings last year, expresses vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and encourages strong support and deep interest in achieving a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Nathan Diament, Director of Policy at the UOJCA, stated:

All people of decency and good will must be offended and outraged by the continuing captivity of Ehud Goldwasser, Gilad Shalit and Eldad Regev. Torn by terrorists from their families and their communities, those who hold these young men against their will and those who refrain from forcing their safe return are to be condemned by civilized society. We commend Senators Hillary Clinton and George Voinovich for giving new attention to this crime and pray their efforts and those of all people of good will result in these sons of Israel being returned to their families very soon.

Posted in Gary Ackerman, Gilad Shalit, Hillary, Israel, Israeli MIAs, Jewish Activism, OU, Record, Zachary Baumel | 4 Comments »

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 »

Special Fast Of Esther Prayer Vigil and Rally

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 27, 2007

Prayer Vigil at the Iranian Mission – 40th Street and 3rd Avenue, New York
Thursday March 1, 2007 from Noon – 1pm

All friends of America, Israel and Democracy are urged to attend – this is not a political issue. This is about standing up to the threat of evil against the freedom and values we all share.

Posted in Hillary Clinton Statements, Holocaust denial, Iran, Jewish Activism | 4 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 »

Hillary Presses Gates on Darfur

Posted by jewsforhillary on February 7, 2007

Vlog: Senator Clinton Questions Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Peter Pace on Iraq and Darfur:

Posted in Darfur, Defense, Jewish Activism, Record | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Condoleeza Rice Calls Hamas a “Resistance Movement”

Posted by jewsforhillary on January 31, 2007

In the wake of the Wesley Clark debacle, the right wing silence to Condi Rice’s constant parve atitude towards terrorism is appalling.

Would they have ever let someone like Hillary Clinton get away with something like this? In a word: NOT.

Though the US State Department officially lists Hamas as a terrorist Organization, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice referred to the terrorist group as a “Resistance Movement.”

People have been quick to point out the absent outcry from the Jewish Communities that would probably exist had Hillary Clinton (or Wes Clark, or John Kerry) made the same error.

UPDATE: ZOA – Zionist Organization of America Slams Rice, demands retraction and apology

UPDATE: There is a petition calling for Dr. Rice to issue a retraction and apology to the victims

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily, Ynet News, Christian Brodcasting and The Jewish Press have all woken up to the recent gaffe.

Posted in Condi Rice, Hamas, Israel, Jewish Activism | 11 Comments »

Increase Minimum Wage!

Posted by jewsforhillary on January 25, 2007

Today the Senate voted , and although a majority voted yes to the first minimum wage increase in 10 years, the number of up votes did not reach the necessary 60.  JSpot has the scoop in a nutshell, here

Today, the Senate had the chance to pass a clean bill and a majority voted YES! Of course, they needed 60 votes (to get cloture), which they didn’t get, so now things get messy. The Senate leadership will amend the bill to add on a bunch of tax breaks for small business. Then enemies of the bill will offer lots of counter-productive and/or non-germane amendments. If it makes it through that process, it still may have to go back to the House, because all tax bills must originate in the House. Either way, the Senate and House will have to work our their differences in conference. Then, if they agree, they revote, and if it passes it goes to the President.

What can you do? The folks at JSpot have been running a campaign for American Jews to voice their support. American Jews for a Higher Minimum Wage

Posted in Blogs, Jewish Activism, Minimum Wage | 2 Comments »