The Deterioration of the U.S.- Israeli Relationship: A Major Test for Hillary Clinton

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    Under normal circumstances, Hillary Clinton’s position on Israel would be a no-brainer. She would take the usual position of a Democratic candidate: strong in alliance with Israel, and expressing support for a peace process working toward a two-state solution.

    These, however, are not normal circumstances.

    The way the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sought re-election, and succeeded in that quest — by an unprecedented slap at an American president in speaking as he did to Congress, in alliance with the president’s enemies; and by the ugly way he drew upon fear and bigotry in the final days when he faced possible defeat — have made the usual position impossible.

    Hillary must now –that is, whenever she enters the presidential race — find a way to solve some difficult simultaneous equations. How does she 1) support Israel in ways that satisfy those who care about Israel and generally support the Democrats, 2) take into account the blow that Netanyahu inflicted on any notion of a peace process, and 3) stand with the president of her Party– a president who, being full up to here with Netanyahu, has deliberately (and in my view, quite rightly) affirmed the serious breach in the normal constellation of relations between the two countries.

    Whether she finds a way to do so will demonstrate a good deal about her political skills. And about what she’s made of.

    • Bumble Bee

      John McCain and all Republicans like him are enemies of the United States. They are willing to destroy this country, it’s institutions and it’s democratic processes in order to gain and hold power. Not unlike the current Israeli Prime Minister is willing to do to his country.

    • amber waves

      Although Israeli supporters greatly outnumber Palestinian/Arab supporters in the US electorate (by about 45% to 15%), Arab/Muslim voters are substantial in a number of swing states such as Florida, Virginia, Michigan and are a genuine swing vote. (Many voted for Bush in 2000) They also need to be spoken to.

      As important as getting elected is getting our policy right.

      It is a “no-brainer” the Hillary and US policy makers have been one sided in their support of Israel over the Palestinians, Lebanese and Syrians. It is a no-brainer that this policy was a primary driver of the 9/11 attacks and the rise of Al Quaeda and the US disastrous militarized response.

      Yes she needs to stand up to Netanyahoo but more importantly she and the US need to adjust our policies to be more effective and more just.

      What is interesting is the lack of attention on the Republican candidates for President. Each one should be asked to state their positions on Netanhayoo’s visit to Congress. His dismissal of the 2 state peace process and his sectarian comments regarding Arab voters.