Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the 2016 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, March 21, 2016, at the Verizon Center in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

How Clinton’s foreign policy ‘record’ is stained with blood

At the recent meeting of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the three remaining Republican presidential candidates and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton vied to outdo each other as the most supportive of Israel and its right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AIPAC is the powerful lobby in the US for the Israeli government and its policies. It exerts great pressure on all members of Congress.

Clinton probably won that competition with what renowned independent journalist Glenn Greenwald called, the most “disgusting militaristic, hawkish pro-Israel speech that you could ever possibly hear, without the slightest pretence of concern for the people of Palestine”.

The leading Democratic presidential candidate emphasised the need for the US to keep building up the military of nuclear-armed Israel with billions of dollars and weapons so that it could dominate all other countries in the region. Clinton repeated the ridiculous narrative that poor little Israel is endangered by hostile neighbours.

Attacking BDS

In her speech, Clinton went out of her way to attack the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement opposing the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its strangling of Gaza.

“Many of the young people here today,” Clinton said, “are on the front lines of the battle to oppose the alarming divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS … We must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.”

The “young people” in the audience are the rabid Zionists (supporters of an exclusively Jewish state in historic Palestine) on many campuses. They are seeking to outlaw growing student groups supporting the BDS movement, including Jewish Voice for Peace.

With her statement, Clinton also aligned herself with those who equate opposition to Israeli policies with anti-Semitism.

At the University of California, the state-appointed regents who run the university recently tried to pass a motion equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, outlawing BDS and Jewish Voice for Peace on all UC campuses. After an outcry, they watered this down to equating “some” anti-Zionists with anti-Semitism — still a false innuendo based on unfounded allegations that some anti-Semitic graffiti was the work of BDS groups.

In some states, laws have been introduced to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. This means asserting, among other falsities, that many anti-Zionist Jewish people — including Israeli citizens, figures like Noam Chomsky, Jewish Voice for Peace members, Jewish members of socialist groups and many others — are anti-Semitic. This fits in with the Zionist narrative that such Jews are “self-haters”, or worse.

Clinton’s statement to AIPAC puts her firmly in support of this Zionist campaign. It also equates the Jewish people with the Israeli state, a false Zionist claim that Israel is the state of all Jews worldwide.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties — and all US administrations — have poured vast sums and armaments into Israel, backed Israel diplomatically, and support Israel’s almost 50-year occupation of lands it conquered in the 1967 war (despite some noises to the contrary.) Clinton is endorsing these policies, but in an even more strident manner.

As Greenwald said, Clinton has made “a central part of her campaign embracing not just the right-wing Israeli government but Netanyahu himself”. The Clinton clan are personal friends of the Netanyahu family.


Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was the only candidate from either party to skip the AIPAC meeting. He explained that this was due to campaigning elsewhere, not AIPAC’s policies.

However, he also said: “It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements [in the West Bank] is the appropriate response to most recent violence.

“It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf.”

Even such mild criticism of Israel, which 20 years ago was US official policy, has disappeared from mainstream politics.

In a recent debate, Clinton attacked Sanders for comments he made after he visited Nicaragua in the 1980s during the Sandinista revolution. Sanders praised the pro-poor policies of the Sandinistas and some of the social gains of the Cuban Revolution, while criticising efforts of the US government to overthrow both revolutionary governments.

Sanders responded that he was opposed to both the war the US was backing against Nicaragua and hostile US policies toward Cuba.

With this charge against Sanders, Clinton was signalling to a section of the electorate that she endorses US-backed interventions against left-wing governments in Latin America. Such interventions included the Reagan administration’s “contra” war against the Nicaraguan revolution and the US-organised terrorist and economic attacks against Cuba.

Before, during and after her time as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State during his first term, Clinton has been a loyal supporter of all the US wars, bombings, drone strikes and support of dictators. As Secretary of State, she did more than just support such actions — she actively participated in them.