Aaron David Miller, one of the most prominent analysts of U.S.-Israel relations, conducts an extended thought experiment in Foreign Policy today about the possible impact of a Hillary Clinton presidency on the alliance. His conclusion is that Clinton “would indeed do a better job of managing relations with the Israelis.” It’s a bit prosaic, however, considering that few could do worse than Barack Obama. And Miller lets Hillary off the hook.
One does not have to go back as far as Clinton’s early support for a Palestinian state, or her silence when Suha Arafat accused Israel of using chemical weapons, to find room for doubt. As Secretary of State, she famously berated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for 45 minutes over the construction of some apartments in a Jewish area of Jerusalem. She was evidently proud of having done so, and made sure the press knew about it.
Miller, however, writes that Clinton “was never comfortable playing the bad cop with Netanyahu to Joe Biden’s more even-tempered good cop,” and also that she was “uneasy with the president’s call for a comprehensive settlement freeze.” His source for both of those comments is Hillary Clinton herself, who made those claims in her recent memoir. But she did nothing substantial about those discomforts, if indeed she felt them, and her public record contradicts self-serving personal memories penned with an eye on the 2016 presidential race.
It is worth noting two points Miller makes, en route to evaluating Clinton’s future policy. One is that American relations with Israel are still deeply rooted. The other is that Benjamin Netanyahu, or the policies for which he stands, enjoy broad support in Israel and cannot be wished away. Clinton should, at least, heed that advice.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak