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Jewish Supporters of Hillary Clinton

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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 »

Ira Forman Rips Martin Kramer over Hillary and Israel

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 »

Hillary Featured in July Issue of PA Jewish Voice

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 in Hillary Clinton, National jewish Dmeocratic Council, NJDC, Philadelphia Jewish Voice | Leave a Comment »

JTA: Hillary Leads in Jewish Fundraising

Posted by jewsforhillary on May 22, 2007

Clinton leads in race for Jewish donors

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.

FULL ARTICLE

Posted in Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Supporters, John Edwards, JTA, National jewish Dmeocratic Council, NJDC, NORPAC, Republican Jewish Coalition | Leave a Comment »

VIDEO: Senator Hillary Clinton Speaks to the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC)

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

Posted in Barack Obama, Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton Statements, Joe Biden, National jewish Dmeocratic Council, NJDC, Republican Jewish Coalition | 2 Comments »

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 »

DC Area Jews Heart Hillary

Posted by jewsforhillary on April 27, 2007

Clinton raises most democratic funds from Washington area jewish donors.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) appears to have raised the most money from local Jews, with Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) coming in a competitive second and John Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, a distant third. Sens. Joe Biden (Del.) and Chris Dodd (Conn.) and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson were further back.

Posted in Donors, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Jews, NJDC, The Jewish Week | Leave a Comment »

Senator Clinton To Address Jewish Democrats

Posted by jewsforhillary on April 15, 2007

Hillary Clinton will be among the elected officials (and presidential hopefuls) scheduled to be featured speakers at the upcoming conference of the National Jewish Democratic Council in Washington DC.

Posted in Hillary Clinton, NJDC | 3 Comments »