Hillary Clinton, also a “true” friend of Israel
Jan. 22, 2007
alJazeera.com, Philippe Khan
The former first lady and Democratic senator from New York Sen. Hillary Clinton jumped into the fray as a 2008 presidential candidate with the words “I'm in” posted on her Web site.
She seemed confident.
In her statement, Clinton bluntly said “I'm in to win”.
In her first public appearance since joining the 2008 White House race, Clinton said she seeks to become U.S. President because she was “worried about the future of our country.”
“I'm worried about the future of our country, and I want to help put it back on the right course so that we can work together to meet the challenges that confront us at home and abroad,” she said.
“I am best-positioned to be able to do that, and that's why I'm running,” Clinton added.
Does this mean that the American public is heading into a pleasant time? Does this mean that world’s heading into a pleasant time in case Clinton became the new President of the United States?
And would having Clinton as the President of the country whose foreign policy played a key role in creating the world’s current political struggles and military conflicts, mean any change in that policy, that focuses mainly on what serves the Israeli interest?
The fact of the matter is that Clinton wouldn’t be less faithful to Israel than the current President George W. Bush.
“Israel: Beacon of What Democracy Should be”
In December 2005, Senator Hillary Clinton, in her keynote address to a 700-strong crowd of students, faculty, and friends of Yeshiva University, at its 81st annual Hanukkah dinner, spoke of her high-profile trip a month earlier to Israel, and the fight the United States and Israel share against terrorism.
“I just returned from a trip to Israel. It was my second trip as senator, my first as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. My husband and I were there to memorialize a dear friend, someone whom I greatly admired, former Prime Minister [Yitzhak] Rabin. And my trip focused on shared security challenges that Israel and United States face. . . . The United States and Israel share deep and lasting bonds. . . . They are bonds forged in a common struggle for human rights, democracy, and freedom . . . There is no doubt that these strong bonds and values will remain as the lodestar of our relationship with our fellow democracy and ally. And Israel is not only our ally; it is a beacon of what democracy can and should mean. . . . If the people of the Middle East are not sure what democracy means, let them look to Israel.”
So-called Security Barrier
Clinton had also supported Israel’s enormous Separation Barrier, and when she visited Jerusalem, she claimed the wall, built on confiscated Palestinian land, was not against the Palestinian people.
She did so despite the wall's devastating effect on Palestinian life- In her same speech at the Hanukkah dinner, Clinton said about the wall:
“The first priority of any government is to protect and ensure the safety of its citizens. And that is why I have been a strong supporter of Israel’s right to build a security barrier to try to keep those who would do harm to Israel out of Israel. I’ve taken the International Court of Justice to task for questioning Israel’s right to build the security barrier. On this trip, I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I went to Gilo, a Jerusalem neighborhood, and was briefed by Colonel Danny Tirza, who has overseen construction of the fence. He explained how before the construction commenced, residents of Gilo would come under fire. He left a very vivid image in my mind as he talked about how in the kitchens . . . facing the territory leading to Bethlehem, people would come and open the refrigerator to get something to eat or drink during a television break and get fired upon. He told me in great detail how hard the Israelis had worked to avoid constructing the fence. How when the shots began coming into Gilo, this colonel and others called their counterparts in Bethlehem and said, ‘We’re being fired upon. Find the people who are doing this and stop them.’ But it did not stop. His description of the necessity for the fence and its effectiveness left me with an even greater appreciation for [its] importance and rationale.”
What Clinton doesn't know is that Gilo is an illegal subdivision, an occupied Palestinian territory.
Gilo, located on the southern edge of Jerusalem overlooking Bethlehem, housing about 28,000 Israelis, was illegally (according to international law) established three decades ago, on about 700 acres of land confiscated from Palestinian ownership. It is just inside the expanded municipal limits of Jerusalem -- boundaries that Israel redrew when it occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.
Clinton also supports Israel’s claims about Iran and the alleged nuclear threat it poses.
Although Clinton knows quite well that Israel possess a massive arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction, she’s been quoted as saying:
“In addition, I held a series of meetings with Israeli officials, including the prime minister and the foreign minister and the head of the [Israeli Defense Force] 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.”
“War on terror”
"Israelis have long had to make sacrifices in order to protect themselves. And we have to understand the significance of those sacrifices. Too many young soldiers have been lost protecting the lives and livelihood of Israel’s citizens, protecting the only democracy in the region. If Americans did not understand it before 9-11, it is abundantly clear now that we must stand beside Israel and make it clear we guarantee Israel’s security," Clinton had been quoted as saying.
"In defeating terror, Israel’s cause is our cause. The evil of terrorism, a burden long suffered by Israelis, threatens to rip apart the fabric of the Middle East. And our effort fighting terrorism there is akin to our effort fighting terrorism everywhere."
When Clinton visited Israel in November 2005, following a meeting with the former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, she began her campaign for president by praising the Israeli as a "courageous" man who had taken "an incredibly difficult" step by withdrawing troops and settlements from Gaza.
(A new study by an Israeli human rights organization called Gisha challenges the claim that Israel doesn’t occupy Gaza Strip any more.)
Clinton praised the alleged withdrawal of Israeli settlers and soldiers from Gaza Strip, saying it was intended as "a means of demonstrating that Sharon is committed to trying to get back into a process" with the Palestinians.
What’s been mentioned above is not a personal opinion.
Following the announcement of Clinton’s bid for presidency, Knesset Member Silvan Shalom stated that she is a “true friend of Israel,” citing her strong support to Israel in various struggles, including the Jewish State’s right to build the so-called Security Barrier despite the fact that international court in The Hague ruled that it should be removed.
Labels: Berita, Israel, Luar Negeri, Palestin, U.S.