Hillary Clinton In The White House: Good Or Bad For Israel?

After former Senator Hillary Clinton announced her bid for the US presidency, Israeli journalists and politicians were divided on the question if her candidacy was good news for Israel.

On the left, Clinton’s candidacy draw positive responses. MP Merav Michaeli (Labor) wrote in an op-ed published by the leftist paper Ha’aretz: “When Hillary Clinton decided to run (for president), she took yet another step toward.”

The responses of right-wing commentators were less positive, and some of them even expressed fear that Clinton would be even worse for Israel than President Obama.

The ultra-Orthodox news portal Behadrey Haredim noted that Clinton’s campaign management had already leaked that she intends to embrace, rather than distance herself from, Obama and his policies.

Some pointed to the fact that Clinton knows Israel well and that she realizes that the relationship between the U.S. and Israel has to be improved. In a conversation with U.S. Jewish community leaders a couple of weeks ago, she said that “we need to bring back the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel in order to work together to handle shared interests and concerns.”  She stressed that attitudes toward Israel must not become a political issue, and claimed that the two friends will work together to restore the relationship.

Others claimed Clinton did nothing when, during her term as Secretary of State in the first Obama administration, relations between the U.S. and Israel began to deteriorate. They also point to Clinton’s obsession with the Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria (West-Bank), which she sees as the greatest obstacle to peace with the Palestinians.

The New York Times wrote that in 2009,  following the White House’s demand for Israel to end new settlements, Clinton criticized the Israeli constructions “with a fervor that surprised Mr. Obama’s advisers.”

Clinton shares Obama’s policy toward Israeli settlement activity in Judea and Samaria (West-Bank).

In 2010, she even said at the AIPAC conference that Israeli settlements complicated U.S. goals on Iran. The Christian Science Monitor reported at the time that Clinton had said “ that Israeli settlement activity in occupied Arab lands – East Jerusalem and the West Bank – undermines trust between the two allies and makes the US role in the peace process more difficult.” She then took her argument a step further, saying Israel’s settlement activity complicates other US goals in the region that are also Israel’s goals –specifically, ensuring that Iran does not become a nuclear power.

In March 2010, Clinton called Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and rebuked him about the state of the U.S.-Israeli relationship. During the call, she demanded “Israel take immediate steps to show it is interested in renewing efforts to achieve a Middle East peace agreement.” Clinton made the call to Netanyahu after Israel announced building plans for 1600 houses in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood during the visit of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden.

In 2012, during the Saban Forum opening gala dinner, Clinton blamed Israel for the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.

Here’s what she said:

 So, look, I’m not making excuses for the missed opportunities of the Israelis, or the lack of generosity, the lack of empathy that I think goes hand-in-hand with the suspicion. So, yes, there is more that the Israelis need to do to really demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds, and they want to figure out, within the bounds of security and a Jewish democratic state, what can be accomplished.

During the same speech, she claimed that the Two-State solution was the only way to secure Israel’s future as a Jewish state:

“A strong Israeli military is always essential, but no defense is perfect. And over the long run, nothing would do more to secure Israel’s future as a Jewish, democratic state than a comprehensive peace,” Clinton said

Last year, she revealed that her obsession with Israel’s settlement activity had led her to yell at the Israeli Prime Minister on several occasions. During an interview with CNN, she said this:

I have to say, I’ve known Bibi a long time. And I have a very good relationship with him, in part because we can yell at each other and we do. And I was often the designated yeller. Something would happen, a new settlement announcement would come and I would call him up, ,What are you doing, you’ve got to stop this.’

During another interview with CNN in 2014, in which she again criticized Israel’s settlement activity, Clinton said it is her “biggest complaint with the Israeli government.”

 I am a strong supporter of Israel, a strong supporter of their right to defend themselves. But the continuing settlements which have been denounced by successive American administrations on both sides of the aisle are clearly a terrible signal to send, if at the same time you claim you’re looking for a two-state solution.

After the re-election of Netanyahu in the Israeli election on March 17 this year, Clinton reiterated her position on the Two-State solution as the only way to achieve peace in Israel. After she had said that relations between the US and Israel ought to return to “constructive footing,” she stressed the importance of getting back to “basic shared concerns and interests, including a two-state solution.”

The position of the outgoing and incoming Israeli government is that the establishment of a Palestinian state is not possible at this point and that Israeli settlements are not an obstacle to peace. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed that the Arab refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and Palestinian incitement and maximal demands are the real obstacles to peace. He and other Israeli officials often explain that Israeli settlements are built on less than five percent of the landmass in the West Bank–and that the issue of the settlements was never a stumbling block in negotiations about peace with the Palestinians.

So do Israelis want to see another Clinton in the White House?

It is fair to assume that the answer is no. After eight years of bad relations with a Democratic U.S. President who is widely regarded as not trustworthy when it comes to the security and future of the Jewish State, Israelis long for a U.S. President who they can trust and who understands the basic principles underlying the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In fact, Israelis lost trust in Clinton already in 1999 when Clinton visited Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s wife Suha. Clinton remained silent when the Palestinian first lady claimed that Israel was using poison gas to pollute the West Bank’s water and land–and, rather than protest that statement, kissed her.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Clinton Foundation Head Admits ‘We Made Mistakes’

Amid a growing scandal poised to potentially derail Hillary Clinton’s fledgling presidential campaign, the nonprofit organization at the center of the controversy has come under significant scrutiny. In a recent blog post, Clinton Foundation Acting CEO and Senior Vice President Maura Pally addressed allegations that the organization accepted inappropriate foreign donations during Clinton’s time at the helm of the U.S. State Department.

She began her statement by defending the foundation against critics, noting that its “accomplishments stand on their own.”

Pally cited “fighting obesity” and addressing “one of our greatest global threats, climate change,” as two of the organization’s notable benefits to society.

Taking a page from Barack Obama’s campaign rhetoric, Pally further touted the foundation’s “commitment to transparency.”

Despite that ostensible commitment, she did acknowledge that the Clinton Foundation dropped the ball regarding the release of donor names.

“So yes,” she concluded, “we made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future. We are committed to operating the Foundation responsibly and effectively to continue the life-changing work that this philanthropy is doing every day.”

In attempting to explain the errors discovered in the foundation’s tax forms, Pally insisted that there was no discrepancy regarding the amount of money it received.

“Our total revenue was accurately reported on each year’s form,” she wrote, “—our error was that government grants were mistakenly combined with other donations.”

Regardless of her justification, however, critics on both the right and left are already predicting the scandal could spell the practical end of Clinton’s second White House bid.

h/t: Breitbart

Do you think the Clinton Foundation scandal could destroy Hillary’s chances in 2016? Let us know in the comments section below. 

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

On This Day 257 Years Ago, Our 5th President Was Born

Leading the charge at the Battle of Trenton, a musket ball struck his shoulder, hitting an artery.

He recovered and continued to fight for General Washington, becoming friends with French officer Lafayette.

His name was James Monroe, born APRIL 28, 1758.

Home-schooled as a child by Reverend William Douglas, Monroe was fellow students with John Marshall, who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Monroe graduated from the College of William and Mary, studied law under Thomas Jefferson, and was a delegate to the Continental Congress.

He served as U.S. Senator, Governor of Virginia, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State, where he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the United States.

Elected the 5th U.S. President, Monroe acquired Florida from Spain, 1819.

He added Maine, Illinois, Missouri, Alabama, and Mississippi to the Union.

President Monroe proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine, 1823, which forbade European powers from interfering with the independent nations of the Western Hemisphere.

In his First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817, President Monroe warned:

What raised us to the present happy state?…

The Government has been in the hands of the people. To the people, therefore…is the credit due…

It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty.

Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.

The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin…

Monroe continued:

If we persevere…we can not fail, under the favor of a gracious Providence…

My fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor.

When Muslim Barbary pirates committed terrorist attacks, President Monroe refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as he stated, March 5, 1821:

Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved…by the same means that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801 it was found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for the protection of our commerce.

In his 5th Annual Message, December 3, 1821, President Monroe reiterated:

A squadron has been maintained in the Mediterranean, by means whereof peace has been preserved with the Barbary Powers…

From past experience…it is distinctly understood that should our squadron be withdrawn they would soon recommence their hostilities and depredations upon our commerce.

In 1823, President Monroe, with the U.S. Congress, ordered Decatur, Ala., to be founded in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur, the renowned U.S. Naval officer who forced the Muslim pirates to surrender, thus ending the Barbary Wars.

In his First Annual Message, December 2, 1817, President Monroe stated, “In grateful acknowledgments to that Omnipotent Being…in unceasing prayer that He will endow us with virtue and strength.”

On November 16, 1818, in his 2nd Annual Message, President Monroe stated:

For these inestimable blessings we can not but be grateful to that Providence which watches over the destiny of nations…

When we view the blessings with which our country has been favored…

Let us then, unite in offering our most grateful acknowledgments for these blessings to the Divine Author of All Good.

On November 14, 1820, in his 4th Annual Message, President Monroe stated:

When…we take into view the prosperous and happy condition of our country…it is impossible to behold…without being penetrated with the most profound and grateful acknowledgments to the Supreme Author of All Good for such manifold and inestimable blessings…especially…our most excellent system of government, the powerful instrument in the hands of our All-merciful Creator in securing to us these blessings.

On March 5, 1821, in his 2nd Inaugural Address, President Monroe stated:

The liberty, prosperity, and happiness of our country will always be the object of my most fervent prayers to the Supreme Author of All Good….

With a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God.

On December 3, 1821, in his 5th Annual Message, President Monroe stated, “Deeply impressed with the blessings which we enjoy…my mind is irresistibly drawn to that Almighty Being, the great source from whence they proceed and to whom our most grateful acknowledgments are due.”

On December 7, 1824, in his 8th Annual Message, Monroe stated:

For these blessings we owe to Almighty God, from whom we derive them, and with profound reverence, our most grateful and unceasing acknowledgments….

Having commenced my service in early youth, and continued it since with few and short intervals, I have witnessed the great difficulties to which our Union has been exposed, and admired the virtue and intelligence with which they have been surmounted…

That these blessings may be preserved and perpetuated will be the object of my fervent and unceasing prayers to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

President Monroe, who was a member of the Episcopalian Church, admonished:

The establishment of our institutions forms the most important epoch that history hath recorded…

To preserve and hand them down in their utmost purity to the remotest ages will require the existence and practice of the virtues and talents equal to those which were displayed in acquiring them.

Monroe wrote (James Monroe Papers, New York Public Library, Miscellaneous Papers and Undated Letters):

Of the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury;…of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms…

If these rights are…secured against encroachments, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.

Brought to you by AmericanMinute.com

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Is This Clinton Cash Connection The ‘Smoking Gun’ That Will Shoot Down Hillary’s High Hopes?

With her questionable ethics under assault and her plunging poll numbers under near-constant downward pressure, Hillary Clinton is having no success freeing herself from a firestorm of controversy over allegations concerning her access and influence while secretary of state. And now, as though in response to former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos’ recent question on ABC’s This Week — “Is there a smoking gun?” — an investigative piece in International Business Times (IBT) may have just provided an answer in the affirmative.

It’s been widely reported that the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation was the recipient of tens of millions of dollars in foreign donations from governments and business interests while Hillary ran the U.S. State Department. All that cash flowing into the Clinton Foundation coffers raised serious questions about possible influence peddling in a supposed pay-to-play arrangement involving Mrs. Clinton’s international dealings while serving as America’s top diplomat.

While Hillary herself has had very little to say about the growing scandal, Clinton defenders have insisted that there’s no quid-pro-quo proof of misdeeds or ethical lapses on the part of the Democrats’ leading candidate for president in 2016.

Now, as the IBT report details, the connection between Hillary’s State Department and Bill Clinton’s bank account is becoming more clear and direct.

“Former President Bill Clinton accepted more than $2.5 million in speaking fees from 13 major corporations and trade associations that lobbied the U.S. State Department while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, an International Business Times investigation has found. The fees were paid directly to the former president, and not directed to his philanthropic foundation.”

The IBT investigation has also connected important timeline dots showing that several big companies that paid Bill big bucks in speaking fees received their own financial benefits from the Department of State while Hillary was in charge.

“The disclosure that President Clinton received personal payments for speeches from the same corporate interests that were actively seeking to secure favorable policies from a federal department overseen by his wife underscores the vexing issue now confronting her presidential aspirations….”

Scouring through State Department financial disclosures and House of Representatives lobbying records — then cross-checking with Bill Clinton’s reported speeches and payments made to the former president — International Business Times compiled the following chart showing Bill’s speaking fees paid by companies (in bold below) lobbying the State Department for favorable actions.

Image Credit: International Business Times

Image Credit: International Business Times

Adding insult to injury, a new poll of Hillary Clinton’s favorability in a key swing state is offering no solace to the embattled presidential candidate. This is even a state where long-time Clinton pal, defender and big-time fundraiser Terry McAuliffe is the governor. The Washington Free Beacon reports on the new survey by Christopher Newport University:

“The survey found that Clinton’s favorability numbers are underwater among Virginia voters. Just 44 percent have a favorable opinion of her, compared to 52 percent who view her unfavorably. Clinton’s lead over the Republican field has slipped significantly since February, and she no longer polls over 50 percent against any of her potential challengers.”

The new book Clinton Cash that purports to reveal numerous details about the Clinton Foundation’s financial dealings and Hillary Clinton’s supposed influence peddling is set for release on May 5th.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

BREAKING: Iran Military Reportedly Fires At US Cargo Ship, Seizing The Vessel And 34 Americans

Al Arabiya News, the English version of a 24-hour Saudi news service in the Arab world, reports that the Iran military has fired on a U.S. cargo ship and directed it to the port of Bandar Abbas on the southern coast of Iran. Details of the supposed seizure of the American vessel are sketchy, but early reports say there were up to 34 U.S. sailors on board the ship whose cargo is not publicly disclosed.

The Independent reports that the reason for the reported hostilities directed at the vessel by the Iranian military is unclear. However, the website RT reports that the Iranian military went after the ship for supposedly trespassing in territorial waters.

“The Iranian Navy has reportedly seized a US ship with 34 crew members on board, for violating Iran’s waters in the Persian Gulf.”

The BBC adds that there has been no official confirmation of the incident from either Iranian or U.S. officials. In a separate report prior to word of the dramatic turn of events in the Persian Gulf, the BBC noted that multi-national negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are resuming in New York. And in Washington, the Senate is also looking to exert its influence over the direction of the talks that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are so intent on pushing forward.

“…the US Senate will begin debate on bipartisan legislation to subject any final nuclear accord to review by Congress and a potential vote to approve or reject it. Republican senators have already filed amendments that the bill’s sponsors warn could jeopardise a rare bipartisan measure.”

Western Journalism will provide updates on the reported seizure of the American ship by the Iranian Navy as they become available.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth