On November 11, 1999, back when she was first lady, Hillary Clinton visited
Gaza. She was graciously greeted by Yasser Arafat’s wife, Suha, who spiritedly
launched into a blood-libel diatribe.
None of this, incidentally, could be
laid at the door of Binyamin Netanyahu’s demonic disrepute. Israel’s then-prime
minister was Ehud Barak, whose electoral campaign was enthusiastically aided and
abetted by Hillary’s own hubby.But contrary to conventional wisdom, it
never really matters much who’s in power in Jerusalem. Israel is always the
regional bogeyman. And so, back in the good old days of post-Oslo Labor rule,
America’s first lady, self-satisfied and basking in ultra-liberal sanctimony,
smiled contentedly as Suha railed in indignation: “Our people have been
subjected to the daily and extensive use of poisonous gas by the Israeli forces,
which has led to an increase in cancer cases among women and
No way could Hillary claim to have gotten the wrong end of the
stick. She listened via simultaneous translation to Suha’s prepared script,
accusing Israel – in genuine medieval well-poisoning tradition – of resorting to
all manner of noxious concoctions to kill Arab women and tots (as distinct,
presumably, from adult males).
Among its other sins, Hillary’s hostess
charged, Israel deliberately contaminated with lethal toxins 80 percent of the
water (not 79% or 81%) consumed by Palestinian females and
Hillary listened to the calumny without a hint of
displeasure. Indeed, she nodded approval from time to time, and when Suha
concluded, Hillary embraced her warmly and planted affectionate kisses on her
Thus, the uninitiated onlooker may be forgiven for assuming that
Suha listed irrefutable grievances and that her claims won at least the tacit
corroboration of her American guest. Significantly, even after the bizarre scene
ended, Clinton never bothered to dispel that impression. This, however, should
have come as no shocker to anyone familiar with her record.
Going back to
the earliest stirrings of Hillary’s public-life debut, she treated the PLO as a
hip revolutionary liberation movement, rather than as spearheading an Arab war
to destroy the Jewish state. When she chaired the New World Foundation in the
’80s, she funneled finances to PLO subsidiaries. In 1998, she preceded Bill
Clinton in unabashed advocacy of a Palestinian state.
So is it any
surprise that, just as the Mideast is awash with reactionary Islamic-supremacist
takeovers (cheered by the beguiled Free World as democratic uprisings),
Secretary of State Clinton should choose to berate Israel’s treatment of women?
She has certainly imbibed scraps of disjointed and tendentious
information on our much-hyped in-house quarrels. Yet our boisterous debate, more
than all else, attests to the vibrancy of our civil liberties rather than to
their demise, as she disingenuously contended in her skewed monologue at the
Brookings Institution’s Saban Center.
Clinton likened Israel to Iran
after harping on controversies at the extreme-most fringes of our society,
making them look like the mainstream. She omitted to mention that the mainstream
is diametrically different. That is rank distortion.
The same goes
for Clinton’s excoriation of legitimate Knesset legislative initiatives to limit
the ability of foreign governments to derail our domestic democracy via
financial largesse to various NGOs. All these outfits face is the loss of tax
exemptions, which is hardly a mortal blow to freedom and certainly less than
what the American law prescribes. But the truth, as was the case in Suha’s
address, is immaterial – perhaps it’s altogether undesirable.
chums like this secretary of state, it’s safe to deduce that we need no enemies
in America’s corridors of power. But the really bad news is that pals like
Hillary abound there. She is an authentic representative of her boss, President
In his friendliest guise yet, he has just told Jewish
campaign donors that he considers “no ally more important than the State of
Israel” and that “Prime Minister Netanyahu knows he can count on the United
States.... We will not abandon the pursuit of a just and lasting peace that will
end the conflict.”
Yep, we got the message: Obama wants money and votes.
Electioneering begets lots of brotherly blarney, but the devil is in the
details. What’s a “just” peace, and what does its “pursuit” denote?
were furnished by Obama’s defense secretary, Leon Panetta, at the same forum in
which Clinton tongue-lashed the Mideast’s lone democracy. If Clinton defamed our
democratic deportment, Panetta acerbically scorned our survival strategies. Put
in a nutshell, he blamed all regional ills on Israel.
corollary is that justice can only be achieved by righting wayward Israel’s
wrongs and winning concessions from it. Unambiguously placing the onus upon
Israel, Panetta indeed urged Israel to take risks and “lean forward” to achieve
peace with the Palestinians. Never mind that Israel had already taken risks
aplenty – time after disastrous time – gaining nothing but more bloodshed and
abuse for its sacrifices, while whetting appetites for yet more
What if our goodwill blows up in our faces yet again? “If the
gestures are rebuked, the world will see those rebukes for what they are. And
that is exactly why Israel should pursue them,” Panetta
Subtext: Israel needs to bare its throat to genocidal
enemies, so that the watching world would admire its virtue. One would think
Panetta, a former CIA director, has just surfaced from a sealed bunker, entirely
oblivious to repeated displays of Israeli virtue that only intensified Israel’s
We won’t be better liked for being weaker, and getting
weaker won’t improve our self-preservation prospects.
Israel is precisely the Obama administration’s definition for “just,” and
consequently the “pursuit” of a just solution means twisting Israel’s arms. This
begins with reading it the riot act.
That was plainly Panetta’s mission
when he sternly warned against a preemptive Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear
That was plainly Panetta’s mission when pompously proposing
that Israel “reach out and mend fences with those who share an interest in
regional stability – countries like Turkey and Egypt.” We might question how
much stability has been furthered by Egypt and Turkey, but Panetta left no doubt
regarding who’s liable for the busted fences.
That was plainly Panetta’s
mission when he suggested that Israel undermines the Palestinian Authority and
is at fault for not restarting moribund negotiations with it. That was why he
hectored: “Just get to the damn table.”
In the simplistic Obamaesque
worldview, Israel is the irritant that predisposes the entire Arab/Muslim sphere
Israel is the figurative poison in the Mideastern well,
much like the contaminants with which Suha insisted Israel literally polluted
actual Palestinian wells.
Unfortunately (by their perception) Obama and
crew can’t thoroughly disinfect the region from the Israeli venom. Even a faint
trace of such sentiment would be politically super-stupid with elections in the
But Barack, Hillary and Leon can bully us while nonetheless
posing as our bosom buddies. Of course, successive Israeli governments have well
demonstrated that crude pressure from Oval Office patrons can be marketed as
evidence of deep, abiding friendship.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>