Hillary Clinton: Israel First – Robert Fantina/CounterPunch
Although the United States is still ten months from its next exercise in electoral futility, most polls do not indicate what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is most anxious to see: a runaway victory for her candidacy. It is a good sign that, despite the fact that she has no real contrasting opponent on the Democratic side, the coronation she expected isn’t going to happen.
One might say that this writer focuses too much on Mrs. Clinton’s adoration of Israel. But by looking at her comments about that apartheid nation, one gets a clear view of some broader, very troubling perspectives that Mrs. Clinton seems to hold.
On January 6, an opinion piece appeared in The Jewish Journal, written by Mrs. Clinton. It is a fawning, maudlin essay, typical of the writing of anyone seeking national political office in the U.S. who knows they must pay homage to their Israeli lord and master. A few points from this essay tell much about Mrs. Clinton.
“I’m especially concerned about the new wave of violence inside Israel itself – brutal stabbings, shootings, and vehicle attacks that seek to sow fear among the innocent.”
The number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank alone by settler and IOF (Israel Occupation Force) terrorists is at a ten-year high. Why is Mrs. Clinton not ‘especially concerned’ about the continuing wave of violence against Palestinians, in an area that even the U.S. says Israel occupies illegally? Do not these vicious attacks ‘seek to sow fear among the innocent’?
“Only a two-state solution negotiated between the parties can provide Palestinians independence, sovereignty, and dignity, and provide Israelis the secure and recognized borders of a democratic Jewish state.”
Why, oh why, does Mrs. Clinton continue to make this ridiculous statement? The borders of the Jewish state are recognized by most of the world, including the United Nations, and consist of those determined prior to 1967. There is nothing to negotiate. Does Mrs. Clinton disdain international law? It appears that she feels Israel, like the U.S. in its international dealings, is, indeed, above the law.
And this writer must point out, once again, that negotiations, which have proceeded on and off for twenty years or so, can only be effective when each side wants something the other has, that it can only obtain by surrendering something it has. Israel wants all of Palestine, and takes it, piece by piece, with complete impunity. Why should Palestine agree to pointless negotiations?
Mrs. Clinton refers to the ‘secure and recognized’ borders of a Jewish state, but does not seem to consider the ‘secure and recognized’ borders of a Palestinian state.
“We must continue to fight against global efforts to delegitimize Israel. The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, known as BDS, is the latest front in this battle. BDS demonizes Israeli scientists and intellectuals—even young students—and compares Israel to South African apartheid. That’s wrong and this campaign should end.”
The most significant efforts to delegitimize Israel are made by Israel itself. Its racist society, wherein Israeli Jews have more rights than anyone else in Israel; its apartheid system of segregation; its complete disdain for the human rights of the Palestinians; the racist, murderous statements made by government officials all further delegitimize the country, and demonize it, and rightly so. Israel is often comparted to South African apartheid, and the comparison is valid.
And it is not just in the context of Palestine and Israel that Mrs. Clinton demonstrates either gross ignorance, or gross dishonesty. Her essay also contained these pearls of wisdom:
“We must work with our friends and partners to deny ISIS territory in the Middle East, dismantle the global infrastructure of terror, and toughen our defenses at home. We can’t just contain ISIS – we must defeat ISIS.”
Is that really the U.S.’s goal? Garikai Chengu, a researcher at Harvard University, suggested in September of 2014 that ISIS “is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.”
In a June, 2015 column in The Guardian, Associate Editor Seumas Milne said this: “[T]he U.S. and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of ‘Islamic state’ – despite the ‘grave danger’ to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.”
Additionally, Mrs. Clinton did not comment on where or how ISIS came to obtain some of its sophisticated weaponry. In 2014, the Department of Defense issued a press release, discussing some advances toward destroying ISIS. The press release said, in part: “The three strikes destroyed three ISIL armed vehicles, an ISIL vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft artillery gun, an ISIL checkpoint and an IED emplacement.”
Alex Kane, commenting on this in Alternet, said the following: “What went unmentioned by the Pentagon is that those armed vehicles and artillery guns they bombed were likely paid for with American tax dollars. The arms ISIS possesses are another grim form of blowback from the American invasion of the country (Iraq) in 2003. It’s similar to how U.S. intervention in Libya, which overthrew the dictator Muammar Gaddafi but also destabilized the country, let to a flood of arms to militants in Mali, where France and the U.S. waged war in 2013.” So Mrs. Clinton, beholden not only to Israeli lobbies but also to so-called defense contractors in the U.S., will use U.S. military might to destroy what has been provided to the ‘enemy’ by U.S. military might.
“We have to send Iran an unequivocal message. There can be no doubt in Tehran that if Iran’s leaders violate their commitments not to seek, develop, or acquire any nuclear weapons, the United States will stop them. They will test our resolve with actions like their provocative ballistic missile test, for which we should impose new sanctions designations. They need to understand that America will act decisively if Iran violates the nuclear agreement, including taking military action if necessary.”
One has to ask, yet again, why Israel can have nuclear weapons, but Iran can’t. It appears that, in Mrs. Clinton’s twisted world view, some countries can have the capacity to defend their citizens from outside forces, and others can’t. And those who can, it seems, are those that have no respect for international law.
“We need to ensure that Israel continues to maintain its qualitative military edge.”
The U.S. sent Israel nearly $4 billion in aid in 2015, much of it military, which it used to kill over 2,000 Palestinians, including more than 500 children. Israel bombed hospitals, United Nations refugee centers, schools, mosques and residential buildings, all in violation of international law. That is what maintaining Israel’s ‘qualitative military edge’ accomplishes.
Only those with a strong stomach should continue reading; as she has done before, Mrs. Clinton waxes almost romantically about Israel.
“For me, this is more than policy – it’s personal. I was born just a few months before Israel declared independence. My generation came of age admiring the talent and tenacity of the Israeli people, who coaxed a dream into reality out of the harsh desert soil. We watched a small nation fight fearlessly for its right to exist and build a thriving, raucous democracy. And, through it all, Israel’s pursuit of peace was as inspiring as its prowess in war. That’s why, like many Americans, I feel a deep emotional connection with Israel. We are two nations woven together, lands built by immigrants and exiles seeking to live and worship in freedom, given life by democratic principles and sustained by the service and sacrifice of generations of patriots.”
The Israeli people ‘coaxed a dream into reality’ on the forced expulsion of over 700,000 displaced Palestinians, and the graves of at least 10,000 that were murdered to make room for this ‘dream’ to come true.
Israel is only a democracy in the view of Mrs. Clinton and other politicians who rely on the very generous donations of Israeli lobbies to purchase their powerful offices. Periodic voting does not a democracy make.
Mrs. Clinton praises Israel’s pursuit of peace, ignoring the continuing construction of settlements condemned around the world. Does Mrs. Clinton not know that it is in violation of international law for an occupied power to move its residents permanently into the occupied lands? Has she not heard Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu state categorically that not one settler will ever be displaced from the illegal settlements in the West Bank? This is simply additional evidence that international law has no meaning for Mrs. Clinton.
And here we have the woman who would be, and very well might be, president. What will it all mean? More oppression of the Palestinians; more war; more destabilization in the Middle East; more U.S. invasions whenever the U.S. decides its interests, or those of its beloved Israel, are threatened, diplomacy and international law be damned. More ‘might makes right’; less focus on human rights anywhere, and more on helping the rich get richer.
One looks in vain for a Democrat or Republican who is a stark contrast to Mrs. Clinton. There is no longer a ‘lesser of two evils’ for whom to vote; the evil is universal in the two major U.S. political parties, which seem to be clones of each other. It is long past time for a viable third party to be established in what passes for the democracy of the U.S. Until that happens, it will be bloody business as usual.
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