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 ‘The Jerusalem Post’ Category
Posted by jewsforhillary on November 20, 2007
Posted by jewsforhillary on May 25, 2007
In the run-up to the 2008 US presidential elections, The Jerusalem Post Internet Edition JPost.com has invited central presidential contenders to respond to questions on matters of importance to Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.
We will be sending out questions to the candidates every two weeks or so. We started out with a relatively general inquiry about the importance they attach to the US’s strategic alliance with Israel and how, if elected, they would work to foster that alliance (see below). The questions will get more specific as the campaign heats up.
The first question was sent to John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Bill Richardson and Sam Brownback.
The contenders are being invited to participate, and given as much space as they wish to respond. We believe this platform offers a tremendous opportunity for the would-be presidents to detail their positions on key issues for our millions of readers, potential voters and supporters. And we are delighted that, from the outset, so many of the candidates have found the time to participate, with carefully drafted, nuanced answers that offer real insight into their thinking.
David Horovitz, Editor-In-Chief
JPOST: What’s the importance of Israel as a strategic ally and how would your administration manage ties between the two countries?
Hillary Clinton: Israel is an important ally and strategic partner of the United States. Our nations are united by shared values, a commitment to democracy, and a belief in the dignity of men and women. We are also united by a common strategic interest in fighting back against the forces of terrorism and nihilism.
Israel and the United States have worked together for years on national security objectives, including developing innovative defense technologies. Today, as the United States deals with issues of homeland security, we are also learning from Israel’s experience in preventing attacks and preparing emergency responses.
I believe the relationship between our countries should be that between allies, based on mutual respect, appreciating our shared values and a shared commitment to national security policies that reduce the danger of terrorist attacks on free and democratic nations anywhere in the world.
Recognizing the very real challenges we face, I believe we must think rationally and strategically – and jointly – about how our values and our beliefs can be translated into effective action.
It is not enough for us to say the right things; we’ve got to be smart and tough enough to do the right things that will protect American and Israeli interests now and forever. It is with these principles in mind that my Administration would work to sustain, nourish, and enhance the vital partnership between America and Israel.