If Elected President, Will Hillary Clinton Stand With Israel?

Hillary Clinton
During her time representing New York in the U.S. Senate, Hillary Clinton (right) attends a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 31, 2007. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy.)

Note: This is the second installment of a two-part story of a perspective on how a Hillary Clinton administration would affect Israel, with a timeline of 2008 to 1974.

U.S. Senator and U.S. Presidential Candidate

2008

In an interview with the Jewish Exponent of Philadelphia, Clinton supports "limited talks" with the Hamas terrorist group if Israel deems such outreach to be in its best interests. She refuses to address the "hypothetical question" of what she would do if Iran gained nuclear capability.

In a statement, Clinton says, "I deplore and condemn the Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel ... Israel has the right to defend its citizens ... I call on Hamas to stop this irresponsible aggression immediately, which would enable Israeli and Palestinian civilians to return to normal life." She adds that the Bush administration "should have been taking a much more active role in bringing international pressure on Hamas to stop its attacks."

On ABC's "Good Morning America" program, Clinton asserts that if she were president, the U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran in retaliation for a nuclear strike against Israel.

2007

At a press conference with Palestinian Media Watch, Clinton says regarding incitement to violence in Palestinian school textbooks, "We must stop the propaganda to which Palestinian children are being exposed. That must be a priority for all people who care about children, who care about the kind of peace, stability, safety and security that Israel deserves to be guaranteed. And it should be a priority for everyone who cares about the future of the Palestinian people."

Clinton sponsors S.Res. 92 (110th): "A resolution calling for the immediate and unconditional release of soldiers of Israel held captive by Hamas and Hezbollah."

Clinton votes to label Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

Hamas's governance of Gaza should not be officially recognized until the terror group "renounces violence and terror and recognizes Israel's right to exist," Clinton tells the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Palestinian lobbyist Hani Masri, a close associate of Yasser Arafat, raises more than $100,000 for Clinton's presidential campaign.

2006

Clinton sponsors S.Con.Res. 113 (109th): "A concurrent resolution congratulating the Magen David Adom Society in Israel for achieving full membership in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and for other purposes."

At a rally near United Nations headquarters in New York City, Clinton supports taking "whatever steps are necessary" to defend Israel against Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria. She adds, "I want us here in New York to imagine, if extremist terrorists were launching rocket attacks across the Mexican or Canadian border, would we stand by or would we defend America against these attacks from extremists?"

Candidate for U.S. Senator From New York

2000

Hillary accepts a campaign donation from the Muslim Brotherhood-linked American Muslim Alliance's Massachusetts Chapter and tries to hide it by recording the donation on federal filing forms as being from the "American Museum Alliance." Eventually, she returns the funds four months after receiving them. "I learned that an organization claimed credit for sponsoring a fundraiser I attended; an organization whose members have made statements that I find offensive and have condemned. And as soon as I found out the facts, I returned all of the money that was raised because I did not want anyone to have a false impression about my strong support for Israel's safety and security," Hillary says.

Hillary says it is incumbent on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to "do everything in his power to stop the violence and to maintain the cease-fire that was reached yesterday," and to "make it clear that violence is not an acceptable political statement."

1999

In a letter to the Orthodox Union, Hillary writes that she considers Jerusalem the "eternal and indivisible capital of Israel," and that, if elected senator, she would advocate moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Arkansas Years and U.S. First Lady

1999

During Hillary's visit to Ramallah in 1999, Suha Arafat—wife of Yasser—openly accuses Israel of poisoning the West Bank's water supply and land. Following those remarks, Hillary is photographed embracing Suha and kissing her on the cheek, a move Hillary describes as following diplomatic protocol.  

1998

Hillary generates controversy by laying out her own vision for the Middle East, declaring support for an independent Palestinian state before president Bill Clinton expresses a viewpoint on the issue. "It would be in the long-term interests of peace in the Middle East for there to be a state of Palestine, a functioning modern state that is on the same footing as other states," she says in a satellite address to Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian teens from the Seeds of Peace group.

During a visit to Israel and the disputed Palestinian territories, the New York Times describes Hillary as being "hailed here as a champion of Palestinian statehood." She was greeted with thunderous applause at a gathering of the Palestinian National Council. During the same visit, Hillary praises "the leadership of Chairman Arafat" in the peace process and "hope for the future."

1986

While Bill Clinton is the governor of Arkansas, Hillary brings the Israeli literacy program Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) to her state after inviting the program's founder, Hebrew University Professor Avima Lombard, to Arkansas as part of a major school reform push. The program has been a resounding success and now serves 15,000 families in 21 U.S. states.

1974

In his 2004 book American Evita, author Christopher Anderson writes that Hillary told friends she was "sympathetic" to the PLO and its leader, Yasser Arafat, during the early 1970s. Furthermore, when Arafat made his infamous "gun and olive branch" speech to the United Nations General Assembly in 1974, Bill Clinton was "outraged like everybody else," but Hillary tried to convince Bill that Arafat was a "freedom fighter" trying to free his people from their Israeli "oppressors," writes Anderson.

For the original article, visit jns.org.

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