Hillary Clinton giving a press conference in Israel as secretary of state. (The Israel Project / CC BY-SA 2.0)
In a secret meeting with roughly 100 leaders of South Florida’s Jewish community, former President Bill Clinton “vowed that, if elected, Hillary Clinton would make it one of her top priorities to strengthen the US-Israel alliance,” The Times of Israel reports.
He also “stressed the close bond that he and his wife have with the State of Israel.”
Glenn Greenwald reports at The Intercept:
It may be tempting to dismiss this as standard, vapid Clintonian politicking: adeptly telling everyone what they want to hear and making them believe it. After all, is it even physically possible to “strengthen the US-Israel alliance” beyond what it already entails: billions of dollars in American taxpayer money transferred every year, sophisticated weapons fed to them as they bomb their defenseless neighbors, blindly loyal diplomatic support and protection for everything they do?
But Bill Clinton’s vow of even greater support for Israel is completely consistent with what Hillary Clinton herself has been telling American-Jewish audiences for months. In November, she published an Op-Ed in The Forward in which she vowed to strengthen relations not only with Israel but also with its extremist Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I have stood with Israel my entire career,” she proclaimed. Indeed, “as secretary of state, [she] requested more assistance for Israel every year.” Moreover, she added, “I defended Israel from isolation and attacks at the United Nations and other international settings, including opposing the biased Goldstone report [which documented widespread Israeli war crimes in Gaza].”
Clinton media operatives such as Jonathan Alter have tried to undermine the Sanders campaign by claiming that only Sanders, but not Clinton, has committed the sin of criticizing Obama: “Hillary stopped criticizing Obama in 2008, when [Obama] was nominee; Sanders stopped in 2015, so he could run as Dem.” Aside from being creepy – it’s actually healthy to criticize a President and pathological to refuse to do so – this framework is also blatantly false. Clinton, in her book and in interviews, has often criticized Obama for being insufficiently hawkish: making clear that she wanted to be more militaristic than the Democratic President who has literally bombed 7 predominantly Muslim countries (thus far).
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—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.