Hillary in the Holy Land

There really is no way of getting around it. Senator Hillary Clinton may well be future presidential material after all.

Sen. Clinton, along with her husband Bill, paid a visit to Israel this past weekend. The former President Clinton was a featured speaker at a mass rally that marked the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. It was Hillary’s second visit to Israel since she was elected to office in 2000. In fact, I think the senator has visited Israel more times in the past four years than she’s been to visit her constituents where I reside, in upstate New York.

The senator did manage to take time out of her voyage to meet with Ariel Sharon to discuss “security matters.” Hillary also made her way to the great apartheid wall, which separates Palestine from Israel. As of now, the barrier is about two-thirds complete, and when all is said and done the monstrosity will stretch to well over 400 miles in length.

Palestinians rightly criticize the obtrusive wall on the grounds that it cuts them off from occupied land in the West Bank. Thousands have also been cut off from their jobs, schools, and essential farmland.

Hillary and her Israeli allies just don’t get it. When you put powerless Palestinians behind a wall where life in any real economic sense is unattainable, you wreak pain and anguish, which in turn leads to more anger and resentment toward Israel’s brutal policies. Indeed, the wall will not prove to be a deterrent to resistance, but an incitement to defiance.

“This is not against the Palestinian people,” Clinton said as she gazed over the massive wall. “This is against the terrorists. The Palestinian people have to help to prevent terrorism. They have to change the attitudes about terrorism.”

The senator’s comments seem as if they were taken word-for-word from an AIPAC position paper. They may well have been. Just last May, Sen. Clinton spoke at an AIPAC conference where she praised the bonds between Israel and the United States:

“[O]ur future here in this country is intertwined with the future of Israel and the Middle East. Now there is a lot that we could talk about, and obviously much has been discussed. But in the short period that I have been given the honor of addressing you, I want to start by focusing on our deep and lasting bonds between the United States and Israel.”

Clinton went on to wail about the importance of disarming Iran and Syria as well as keeping troops in Iraq for as long as it takes – whatever “it” means. It was textbook warmongering and surprise, surprise, Hillary got a standing ovation for her repertoire.

It is no matter that Iraq will never see true democracy. The U.S. won’t allow that. The imperial powers would never let an Iraq government form that embodied even the slightest hatred toward Israel or the U.S.

Nope, democracy in Iraq, like democracy in Israel, has clear limitations.

Sen. Clinton’s trip down to Israel this past week is just one of many more to come. Like her husband and the current president, Hillary will never alter the U.S.’ Middle East policy that so blatantly favors Israeli interests.

Sadly, Sen. Clinton, if elected president in 2008, will praise and embolden the occupations – both in Iraq and Palestine. She won’t pull out U.S. troops and she won’t cut U.S. funding to Israel.

 

Read more by Joshua Frank