BEVERLY HILLS — Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak left two Democratic panelists speechless in a debate on Thursday evening when he challenged them to name one thing Hillary Clinton had done for Israel.
Neither had an answer.
The question of which presidential candidate would be better for Israel was discussed among several other topics relevant to the 2016 elections in a wide-ranging discussion at the Nessah Synagogue, the largest Persian Jewish congregation in the U.S.
The Democratic leaders had trouble naming one actual achievement Hillary Clinton has made with regard to Israel, aside from being elected to the Senate from New York and having — like most other Senators — a pro-Israel voting record.
Pollak was joined on the panel by criminal gang prosecutor Elan Carr, who also represented the Republican side. On the Democratic side, Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) — who recently co-authored California’s first anti-BDS (boycott divestment and sanctions) legislation — was joined by public policy expert and President Emeritus of Democrats for Israel Leeor Alpern.
The question about Israel was asked by 12-year-old audience member Zhak Goldemberg, who wanted to know whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would be better for Israel if elected to the nation’s highest office.
Alpern pointed to Clinton’s long political record “with regard to the U.S.-Israel relationship” as an accomplishment. “She was a Senator from New York and was President Bill Clinton’s First Lady,” he said.
Referencing one of Clinton’s political ads from her 2008 run, Alpern said: “Without a doubt, with a long history of familiarity with the issue with a 3 a.m. phone call about Israel, Secretary Clinton would be ready to stand at Israel’s side working with our allies to look out for Israel’s best interests.”
Bloom echoed Alpern’s sentiment, adding his belief that “what we see very lacking in Mr. Trump is the kind of even-keeled temperament, in my opinion, that is essential to the job.” Bloom placed Trump in the same category as President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who insulted President Obama several days ago.
The mic was then turned over to Pollak for four minutes. He began: “In [the Democrats’] remarks, I did not hear any single accomplishment Hillary Clinton has made for Israel. I would gladly donate three minutes to hear an accomplishment that is pro-Israel in Hillary Clinton’s extensive record.”
After a brief silence, Alpern attempted to throw the same question back at Pollak in regard to Trump, to which Pollak pointed out that the gentlemen now had “two minutes and fifty-two seconds left” to find a pro-Israel accomplishment by Clinton.
To this end, Bloom said, “As a senator, Secretary Clinton was 100 percent supportive of Israel and had a 100 percent voting record on any issue that might have come up relating to Israel or things going on in the Middle East.” He added, “I think it’s interesting that it is Republicans who would like to build up the military and like to see us be more interventionist, yet they are the same people who criticize — and Donald Trump is number one in this — Secretary Clinton for voting to go to war and to send troops to Iraq. You can’t have it both ways.” He said that Clinton’s vote for the Iraq War was “a pro-Israel vote.”
Pollak asked Bloom, “So is it your view that having a pro-Israel voting record, as do the majority of the members of the Senate, distinguishes her as having done something for Israel?” In response, Bloom said, “We’re going to allow you your time to answer the question.”
“Alright, well I still have two minutes left. So let me go through some of the things in Hillary Clinton’s extensive record that might cause members of this community some concern,” Pollak said.
“In 2000, while appearing at a joint-event in the West Bank with Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat’s wife, Hillary Clinton sat their and listened as Mrs. Arafat accused Israel Defense Forces of using poison gas on Palestinian women and children. Following this, Mrs. Clinton embraced and kissed Mrs. Arafat, thus participating in one of the continuing blood libels in the Arab world that contributes to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred and violence.”
He added, “Mr. Netanyahu was the recipient of a 45-minute lecture in 2010 from Mrs. Clinton when a diplomatic spat erupted over some apartments in a Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem.”
Pollak also pointed out that Clinton took credit for championing the Iran deal early on. Since then, he said, “she has said nothing about Iran’s ransom demand and the Obama Administration’s payment thereof.”
He continued: “This idea that because she was elected from New York and has a bunch of Jewish friends in the Democratic National Committee and that adds up to being pro-Israel, I think establishes the fact that we’ve established a very low standard for [what it means to be] pro-Israel. She has not done one single thing and has a long record of anti-Israel accomplishments.”
Pollak went on to note that “Donald Trump has been accused of being neutral on the issue.” Pointing out that his “neutral” statement was taken out of context by the mainstream media, he noted that Trump “stated in a peace negotiation, he would remain neutral between both sides. But he said it in the same breath that the Palestinians were doing a lot to frustrate the negotiations.”
Pollak added: “But let’s assume that statement is true … I would submit to you that neutrality is preferable to the anti-Israel posture that Mrs. Clinton has taken at various points in her career when it was politically convenient to do so. And under Mrs. Clinton, I think we will see the Democratic Party continue its slide toward the far-left on Israel issues.”
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