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January 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton and
the Israel Lobby


by Joshua Frank

George W. Bush's position on Iran is "disturbing" and "dangerous," reads a position paper written in late 2005 by American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). One year ago the Bush administration accepted a Russian proposal to allow Iran to continue to develop nuclear energy under Russian supervision. Needless to say, AIPAC wasn't the least bit happy about the compromise.

In a letter to congressional allies, mostly Democrats, the pro-Israel organization admitted it was "concerned that the decision not to go to the Security Council, combined with the U.S. decision to support the 'Russian proposal,' indicates a disturbing shift in the Administration's policy on Iran and poses a danger to the U.S. and our allies."

Israel, however, continues to develop a substantial nuclear arsenal. In 2000, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that Israel has likely produced enough plutonium to make up to 200 nuclear weapons. So it is safe to say that Israel's bomb-building technologies are light years ahead of Iran's budding nuclear program. Yet Israel still won't admit they have capacity to produce such deadly weapons.

Meanwhile, as AIPAC and Israel pressure the U.S. government to force the Iran issue to the UN Security Council, Israel itself stands in violation of numerous UN resolutions dealing with the occupied territories of Palestine, including UN Resolution 1402, which in part calls on Israel to withdraw its military from all Palestinian cities at once.

AIPAC's hypocrisy is nauseating. The Goliath lobbying organization wants Iran to cease to procure nukes while the crimes of Israel continue to be ignored. So who is propping up AIPAC's hypocritical position? None other than Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

As one of the top Democratic recipients of pro-Israel funds for the 2006 election cycle, pocketing over $83,000, Clinton now has Iran in her cross hairs.

During a Hanukkah dinner speech delivered in December 2005, hosted by Yeshiva University, Clinton prattled, "I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials [last summer], including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israel Defense Forces], to discuss such challenges we confront. In each of these meetings, we talked at length about the dire threat posed by the potential of a nuclear-armed Iran, not only to Israel, but also to Europe and Russia. Just this week, the new president of Iran made further outrageous comments that attacked Israel's right to exist that are simply beyond the pale of international discourse and acceptability. During my meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, I was reminded vividly of the threats that Israel faces every hour of every day. … It became even more clear how important it is for the United States to stand with Israel…."

As Clinton embraces Israel's violence, as well as AIPAC's fraudulent posture on Iran, she simultaneously ignores the hostilities inflicted upon Palestine, as numerous Palestinians have been killed during the continued shelling of the Gaza Strip over the past year.

Clinton's silence toward Israel's brutality implies the senator will continue to support AIPAC's mission to occupy the whole of the occupied territories, as well as a war on Iran. AIPAC is correct – even President Bush appears to be a little sheepish when up against the warmongering of Hillary Clinton.


Hillary and her husband paid a visit to Israel in the fall of 2005. The former president was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary's second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000.

The senator did manage to take time out of her tour to meet with the then semi-conscious Ariel Sharon to discuss "security matters." Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As the barrier is nearing completion, the monstrosity will ultimately stretch to over 400 miles in length.

Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands more will be cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland.

Hillary and her pro-Israel buds don't get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a jail-like wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward the Israeli government's brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance.

"This is not against the Palestinian people," Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. "This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism."

The senator's comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an AIPAC position paper. They may well have been, as the lobby packs her coffers full of cash. In May 2005, Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States:

"[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel."

Clinton went on to address the importance of disarming Iran and Syria, as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as "it" takes. It was textbook warmongering, and surprise, surprise – Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire.

It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won't allow that. Our government will never allow a free Iraq to form that embodies even the slightest disgust toward Israel or America. Democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations.

Similar to her husband and the current president, Hillary Clinton will never alter the U.S.' Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests.

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  • Joshua Frank is the author of Left Out!: How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, just published by Common Courage Press. You can order a copy at a discounted through Josh's blog at www.brickburner.org. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com.

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