It's no secret that the majority of American Jews identify as Democrat and are heartily embracing Hillary Clinton as their pick for president. Many members of the Jewish-Democrat community mistakenly believe that, unlike President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton is actually a friend to Israel, but newly released emails prove what critics of the former Sec. of State have known for quite some time -- that she's anything but.
A new column penned by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach sheds light on the anti-Israel bent of Clinton's top advisers, thus begging the question: Why would someone supportive of Israel surround herself with such people? From Sid Blumenthal to former US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering, Clinton's aides have proven, through the written word, how they really feel about the Jewish State:
It’s already been established that one of Hillary Clinton’s most trusted advisers, Sid Blumenthal, sent her dozens of anti-Israel articles, ideas and pieces of advice during her time as secretary of state. But the stream of anti-Israel advice received by Hillary was much more comprehensive than that which came from just one adviser. In the entire batch of Hillary’s emails, you will be hard pressed to find a single email that is sympathetic towards the Jewish state, from any of the people on whom she relied.
The negative, poisonous approach towards Israel throughout this cache of emails shows the atmosphere that Hillary had established around herself. These emails seem to demonstrate that a huge segment of her close advisers and confidants were attacking Israel, condemning Netanyahu, and strategizing about how to force Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria at all costs.
Below is a sampling of the kind of biased "advice" Hillary Clinton received by her top aides dating back years:
Sandy Berger was Hillary’s foreign policy adviser during her 2008 presidential campaign. In September 2010, he sent Hillary ideas on how to pressure Israel to make concessions for peace. Berger acknowledged “how fragile Abbas’s political position [is],” and how “Palestinians are in disarray,” and “Failure is a real possibility.” Berger was well aware, and informed Hillary, of the very real possibility that Israel would be placing its national security at grave risk in a deal that would very likely fail and lead to a Hamas takeover. But Berger felt the risks to Israeli lives were worth it. He advised of the need to make Netanyahu feel “uneasy about incurring our displeasure…”
Berger emphasized the need “to convince the prime minister — through various forms of overt persuasion and implicit pressure — to make the necessary compromises” and talks of the “possibility — to turn [Netanyahu’s] position against him.”
Boteach also notes how Berger accused American Jews of engaging in racism towards President Obama:
"At a political level, the past year has clearly demonstrated the degree to which the US has been hamstrung by its low ratings in Israel and among important segments of the domestic Jewish constituency…" He then added, “domestically, he faces a reservoir of skepticism on this issue which reflects many factors, including inexcusable prejudice."
Boteach goes on to name Anne Marie Slaughter, Hillary’s director of policy planning from 2009 to 2011 and Robert Russo, a top aide to Clinton, as additional sources of anti-Israel sentiment within the Clinton camp:
She [Slaughter] wrote to Hillary, “This may be a crazy idea… Suppose we launched a ‘Pledge for Palestine’ campaign… Such a campaign among billionaires/multi-millionaires around the world would reflect a strong vote of confidence in the building of a Palestinian state…”
She added, “there would also be a certain shaming effect re Israelis who, would be building settlements in the face of a pledge for peace.”
Hillary’s response to this email: “I am very interested-pls flesh out. Thx.”
Meanwhile, Russo sent an email to Clinton in 2012 regarding the passing of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s father. Russo encouraged Clinton to offer the Israeli PM her condolences (because she would not have thought of that on her own), while at the same time including an anti-Israel article in the email attacking both the PM and his late father as warmongers:
The article notes, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly denied that his father was a one-dimensional ideologue. He further emphasized that he himself was a different person from his father.” But then it goes on to say, without providing any proof whatsoever, “Israelis seemed in the dark about the extent of paternal influence on their leader,” and “To understand Bibi, you have to understand the father.”
It gets worse. Boteach also highlights how Thomas Pickering, former US Ambassador to Israel, urged Clinton in 2011 to foment Palestinian unrest -- "just like Tahrir Square" -- in an attempt to force Israel's hand in peace negotiations.
Boteach's piece provides additional examples of the virulently anti-Israel aides Hillary Clinton has surrounded herself. While a a tad lengthy, it is very much worth reading a passing along. It can be accessed in its entirety here.
The main issue is that American Jews, by and large, simply cannot decouple themselves from their Democrat-identity because to them it would mean embracing the complete opposite -- the ideals and politics held by right-wing Christians. Most Jewish Democrats are married to the pro-choice, gay-marriage, climate-change and social-justice movements far more than they are to Israel advocacy. I've written about this issue in depth and unfortunately, Israel barely even registers as an identifying-component of American Jews' "Jewish identity."
Recall that a majority of Jewish voters supported Obama not once but twice. Sadly until Jewish Democrats engage in some serious self-reflection, there is little hope that as a community it will stop supporting Clinton no matter how anti-Israel she proves to be.