Clinton calls for strategy to fight boycotts of Israel

The Palestinian Authority has sought recognition as a sovereign state through various international fora in the last several years.

July 6, 2015 23:47
1 minute read.
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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VIENNA -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, former secretary of state and a candidate for president, is formulating a strategy to fight back against efforts to boycott, divest and sanction Israel, she wrote in a letter this week.

The note, written to philanthropist Haim Saban, is a request for advice on that strategy. But it also outlined Clinton's "alarm" over the BDS effort and committed her prospective presidency to thwarting it.

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Arguing that BDS runs contrary to the pursuit of peace, Clinton wrote that a two-state solution— which she has long supported— "cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions."

The Palestinian Authority has sought recognition as a sovereign state through various international fora in the last several years.

"I am also very concerned by attempts to compare Israel to South African apartheid," she said. "Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world— especially in Europe— we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people."

Her successor at the State Department, John Kerry, has privately warned that Israel may face an apartheid-like future due to demographic trends in the country without a permanent two-state accord with the Palestinians.

A bill recently passed through Congress, which granted US President Barack Obama fast-track trade negotiating authority, included a provision which requires the White House to discourage BDS efforts in its negotiations with the European Union.

The provision included reference to both "Israel" as well as to "Israeli-controlled territories." The Obama administration has said it intends to ignore the provision for its reference to the West Bank.

Clinton made no mention of the bill's BDS provision in her letter. She did, however, reference "state legislatures," alluding to efforts in South Carolina and Illinois that combat BDS on the state level.

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