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.
Archive for the ‘National jewish Dmeocratic Council’ Category
Posted by jewsforhillary on November 20, 2007
Posted by jewsforhillary on July 3, 2007
The July Issue of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice features a full textual transcript of Senator Hillary Clinton’s recent address to the NJDC as well as the question and answer session. Readers are also encouraged to participate in their online presidential poll.
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 22, 2007
Among Jewish Democrats, however, it’s no race, insiders in the fund-raising community say: While U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has generated considerable excitement, the years Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has spent focusing on Israel and other issues of concern to the nation’s largest Jewish community puts her firmly in front.
“It’s experience,” said Lonnie Kaplan, a major pro-Israel fund-raiser. “It’s clear to me that she’s the best candidate the Democrats have. On domestic issues they’re all the same, but on foreign policy she has such experience and knowledge and the willingness to act.”
Yet it is Clinton’s determined cultivation of the Jewish community that pushes her ahead, and not just because she represents the nation’s largest Jewish community in New York.
Clinton has spent her six years in the U.S. Senate reaching out to Jewish groups on nearly every domestic and foreign issue that the community embraces. She was a leader in getting homeland security funds to Jewish institutions and has taken the lead in demanding changes in Palestinian textbooks that would reflect the reality of Israel’s existence.
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 21, 2007
Here is a video recording of the entire address given by Senator Hillary Clinton to the first ever Washington conference of the National Jewish Democratic Council which took place last month. Streaming Video: http://wm.nmmstream.net/genasx/njdc/clintonwmv52355.asx
For comparison sake, here are some videos, transcrips and synopses of the remarks given by several of the other declared Democratic presidential candidates, courtesy of the Philadelphia Jewish Voice: http://www.pjvoice.com/v23/23008njdc.aspx