Hillary Clinton, the all but declared candidate and frontrunner to win the 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination, spent Tuesday in the heart of Washington– mere blocks away from the visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu– yet still refused to issue any comments or statements about the extraordinarily high profile visit. Nor, apparently, has there been much pressure from the mainstream media for her to comment.
Mrs. Clinton spoke Tuesday at the 30th anniversary of Emily’s List, the pro-abortion group that claims to have raised more than $400 million for Democratic women candidates, where she received the “We Are Emily” award.
Prime Minister Netanyahu came to Washington at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner to warn Congress and the American people of the gathering storm he believes will strike his country and threaten the United States if President Obama allows the world’s most dangerous regime to advance its nuclear weapons program.
As recounted in a lengthy story in Sunday’s Washington Post, the suddenly silent Hillary Clinton has a long and recent record of loudly expressing her disdain, if not outright contempt, for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That record includes her infamous 45-minute berating of Netanyahu in a 2010 conference call, during which she accused the Israeli leader of “humiliating the United States of America” by not preventing the Jerusalem municipality’s release of a public tender seeking bids on a housing project during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden.
While Hillary remains conspicuously silent on the Netanyahu visit, her public record of support for the Obama Administration’s Iran policies is both strong and unequivocal. Even Alon Pinkus, a former mid-level Israeli diplomat turned Labor Party activist and Netanyahu critic, was forced to admit that Mrs. Clinton’s regard for Israel’s Prime Minister was not much different than Obama’s. “Her relationship with him,” he told the Post, “is very bad, just not as toxic as Obama’s.”
While she might try to airbrush her role as key instigator of the latest round of nuclear talks so many fear will clear the path to Iran’s eventually becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly taken credit for having been the one to have initiated secret talks between the US and Iran in 2012.
Hillary and Bill Clinton reportedly both “chafed” at Netanyahu’s warm relationship with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich during her husband’s presidency and Mr. Netanyahu’s first term as Israeli Prime Minister.
It was Mrs. Clinton who led the Obama Administration’s pressure campaign against so-called Israeli “settlement” construction that so unnerved her and the President in late 2009. Eventually, Clinton was able to pressure Netanyahu into accepting an unconditional and unilateral 10-month suspension of new housing construction in disputed territories administered by Israel. This was the first time any Israeli government, conservative or leftist, had agreed to a unilateral and unconditional ban on new or existing home construction in large areas of the small country.
Mrs. Clinton was reportedly irate when Netanyahu did not agree to subsequent unilateral and unreciprocated extensions of the ban she implored him to adopt when it expired in September 2010. Netanyahu refused Clinton’s new demands, on the grounds that the unprecedented concession led not to Palestinian goodwill gestures as promised, but rather increased threats and new demands.
At the same time she was facilitating secret high level talks with the world’s leading terror sponsoring state in 2012, Mrs. Clinton publicly accused Israelis of “lacking empathy for ‘oppressed Palestinians.’” “There is more that the Israelis need to do to,” the then-Secretary of State told the Saban Forum, “to really demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds.”
Even though Hillary Clinton’s record of attacks against Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu is almost as long as President Obama’s, it does not appear to have diminished her support among American Jews, which by all accounts, remains nearly stratospheric. Mrs. Clinton has raised millions from Jews who heavily favored the former first lady over Barack Obama in her illofated 2008 Presidential campaign.
A Pew Survey on American Jewry released late last year shows an American Jewish community in steep decline due largely to assimilation and intermarriage. These finding were corroborated by a recent Gallup Poll released in December 2014 showing that 61 percent of Jews still called themselves Democrats, while only 29 percent were Republicans.
While down from 2008 when the surveys showed the margin was roughy 71 Democrat to 22 percent Republican, it still marks a huge advantage for Democrats, even after six years of the Obama Presidency.