Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accepts the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
We live in a very dangerous time.
We have seen massive terrorism attacks in recent years; we see ISIS growing, and more than half a million murdered in Syria. It is more important than ever that our next president provide strong, steadfast, experienced and reliable leadership in Washington and in the world.
And that is why my choice for president this year is Hillary Clinton.
This is not about partisanship. As an independent Democrat, I have crossed party lines in my endorsements in the past. This is about what is best for our country.
I’ve known Hillary Clinton since her days at Yale Law School, have great confidence in her and have long admired her accomplishments — from her early work for the Children’s Defense Fund, as first lady both in Arkansas and in the White House, to her work as a senator and as secretary of state.
I had the honor of serving with her in the Senate for eight years, working closely on the both the Armed Services and the Environment and Public Works Committees. I saw up close her dedication to families, as we both worked to improve children’s health care, strengthen support for first responders, and protect children from inappropriate content found in video games.
As a senator, she asked questions, studied hard, reached across the aisle and built coalitions.
She didn’t care if a colleague was a Democrat or a Republican; she cared about getting things done for our country.
As first lady, Hillary had been known on the world stage, but it was as secretary of state that she truly built relationships with foreign leaders — relationships that will give her a head start over nearly everyone who has entered the White House. Her opponent, meanwhile, has sent a message to our allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East that the US is not going to be an ally they can rely on.
Hillary recognizes that international alliances are crucial for America’s security, prosperity, and freedom. She will strengthen our alliances throughout the world and that particularly includes Israel. Supporters of a strong US-Israel alliance know they can count on Hillary based on her consistently pro-Israel record for decades. She has good, ongoing relations with Israel’s leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As a senator and as secretary of state, Hillary helped enact and enforce tough economic sanctions against Iran that brought its fanatic regime to the negotiating table.
I was very disappointed when she supported the agreement that resulted from those negotiations, because I thought it strengthened Iran and did not end its plan to build nuclear weapons. Now, she has vowed to aggressively monitor whether Iran is keeping its promises and take strong action if it is not. She has committed to enforcing the remaining sanctions based on Iran’s support of terrorism and violation of basic human rights of its people.
She also has said that in the worst case she would be prepared to use American military power to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon.
As secretary of state, she negotiated a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians, helping to avoid all-out war in Gaza.
She routinely condemned rocket fire into Israel, helped to equip Israel with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and worked to increase support for Israel’s rocket defense system, upgrading Patriot missiles and the Iron Dome system.
Hillary was an early supporter of the security fence in Israel, has forcefully condemned anti-Israel and antisemitic biases in Palestinian textbooks, co-sponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act in 2006 to block foreign assistance to Hamas, and introduced legislation calling for the immediate release of Israeli soldiers held by Hamas and Hezbollah.
She criticized the UN Human Rights Council for its “structural bias against Israel,” and successfully fought for Magen David Adom’s inclusion in the International Red Cross.
Hillary recognizes the dangers of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, and has condemned it as “counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians” and an attempt to “isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
Hillary is resilient, smart and understands national security. On Israel and on domestic matters of particular interest to so many in the Jewish community — open and tolerant societies, women’s rights, health care, racial justice, immigration reform and the like — she has had a very strong and supportive record.
I hope you will join me in voting for Hillary Clinton.Joseph I. Lieberman is a former US senator from Connecticut and was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2000.