Hillary Clinton Still Stuck in Time Warp About Israel

Hillary Clinton’s remarks before AIPAC sound like someone from the Bush administration.  (Photo: Marc Nozell /  Flickr Commons)

Hillary Clinton’s remarks before AIPAC sound like someone from the Bush administration. (Photo: Marc Nozell / Flickr Commons)

In her speech before AIPAC on March 21, Hillary Clinton sounded like the Obama administration had never happened:

“The United States and Israel must be closer than ever, stronger than ever,” Clinton declared. “We must take our alliance to the next level,” she said, calling for “even more intense security and diplomatic cooperation” and demanding that the U.S. arm the Israeli military “with the most sophisticated defense technology.”

For his part, Bernie Sanders wasn’t in attendance because, CNN reported:

… he apparently saw little benefit in appearing at a forum that features few of his progressive constituents and might not be receptive to his positions on Israel. [His advisors] made a decision that he would do better staying on the trail rallying voters ahead of Tuesday’s contests.

But he addressed AIPAC via video and gave the foreign-policy speech of his campaign. Excerpts:

Peace has to mean security for every Israeli from violence.

But peace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights, and economic wellbeing for the Palestinian people.

Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza – once considered an unthinkable move on Israel’s part. That’s why I join much of the international community, including the U.S. State Department and European Union, in voicing my concern that Israel’s recent expropriation of an additional 579 acres of land in the West Bank undermines the peace process and, ultimately, Israeli security as well.

It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of Shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf.

In case you haven’t noticed, Ms. Clinton, a Democratic presidency — one that has taken steps to roll back Israel’s injustices — has occurred since the George W. Bush administration. Aside from big donors, fewer and fewer people are responsive to the message you conveyed in your AIPAC speech. As is often the case, Ms. Clinton and her people seem tone deaf to the public; at best they are a beat behind. Remember, Ms. Clinton: It’s not as if this speech is hidden from the public like the speeches you gave to Wall Street.