The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

What will Hillary say about Gaza

Hilary ClintonWith Hillary Clinton’s confirmation as State Secretary coming soon – very soon – many wonder what she’s going to say about Gaza, a topic that will surely arise.

Hillary appeared quite sympathetic to the cause of Palestinian statehood as first lady (occasionally to controversy) and then vocally embraced all things Israel when she ran for New York Senator. But anyone who thinks that Hillary will unblinkingly hold to her staunch pro-Israel stance at State probably underestimates her capacity for reinvention, not to mention her ability to recognize that she’s no longer answering solely to a New York constituency.

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Frankly, this is what we’re going to get from many of the pundits writing about this topic, but I don’t find this analysis very useful. Here’s why: As First Lady, Clinton was sympathetic to Palestinian statehood, but that was before the collapse of Camp David. For those who do not remember, the Clintons are part of the group that’s blaming Arafat for this calamity (Read Bill’s book for the unforggetable conversation he had with Arafat after the fact). True, Hillary became more sympathetic when she became a Senator from the Jewish state of New York – but it’s hard to tell whether this was just a politically motivated shift, or the change experienced by many other observers of Mideast events following Camp David and the Palestinian intifada. One thing I can say for sure: the Israeli establishment is generally confident that Clinton will be a friend – an ph:clinton.jpgd not the kind of friend Carter pretends to be.

And one more thing: This story of the Suha Arafat kiss – that the NYT mentioned for the 10,657 time last week – is really getting kind of old, boring and irrelevant. Clinton already explained “the kiss” so many times, paid the price for it so many times, attacked for it so many times, that it’s really time to move on. As State Secretary she’ll surely provide some new material with which to question her policies and character.

First test: confirmation hearings. What will she say about Gaza? My guess is this: Israel has the right to defend itself, we need to vigorously pursue peace negotiations, we have to use diplomacy and engage and get involved. We have to make life better for Palestinians, and more secure for both Israelis and Palestinians. We have to help the moderates against extremists.

In short: she’ll say everything Condi Rice would have said had she been re-confirmed for the job next week.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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