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Monday, March 22, 2010

Clinton decides that Hamas controls Ramallah

Hillary Clinton has given her speech to the AIPAC conference. You can find the full transcript here (8-page pdf). The headline of this post came in the middle of this speech. It is nothing short of astounding that Clinton is so misinformed (or is she lying?) that she believes Hamas was behind the dedication of that square in Ramallah to mass murderer Dalal al-Mughrabi. Well, it was Fatah.

Here are some 'highlights' of Clinton's speech with my comments thrown in.
Given the shared challenges we face, the relationship between the United States and Israel has never been more important. The United States has long recognized that a strong and secure Israel is vital to our own strategic interests. We know that the forces that threaten Israel also threaten the United States. And we firmly believe that when we strengthen Israel’s security, we strengthen America’s security.

So from its first day, the Obama administration has worked to promote Israel’s security and long-term success. As Vice President Biden said in Israel, we know that to make progress in this region, there must be no gap between the United States and Israel on security. And there will not be. For President Obama, for me, and for this entire administration, our commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid.
Except that's not what President Obama told 'Jewish leaders' in July.
A private meeting Monday held to ease tensions between the White House and American Jewish leaders included a pointed exchange as President Obama said public disagreements between the U.S. government and Israel are useful in the pursuit of Middle East peace, several participants said.

The president's remarks, surprising to some in the room, came as he was questioned about a perceived distance between his administration and Israel -- specifically in his insistence that Israel halt all settlement construction in the West Bank.


Obama, according to participants, said his approach would build more credibility with Arabs, and he criticized the Bush administration policy of unwavering agreement with Israel as ineffective.
Back to Clinton.
Last fall, I stood next to Prime Minister Netanyahu and praised his government’s decision to place a moratorium on new residential construction in the West Bank. And then I praised it again in Marrakesh and Cairo. We also made clear that this was just a first step and, like every administration for decades, underscored that the United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed.
Actually that's not what every administration said. Only Obama's and Carter's. Every other administration characterized the 'settlements' as 'not helpful,' but did not question Israel's right to establish them.
Under President Obama’s leadership, we have reinvigorated defense consultations, redoubled our efforts to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge, and provided nearly $3 billion in annual military assistance. In fact, that assistance increased in 2010 and we have requested another increase for 2011. More than 1,000 U.S. troops participated in Juniper Cobra ballistic missile defense exercises last fall, the largest such drill to date. And President Obama has made achieving peace and recognized borders for Israel a top administration priority.
And placed a de facto embargo on arms to Israel.
In addition to threatening Israel, a nuclear-armed Iran would embolden its terrorist clientele and would spark an arms race that could destabilize the region. This is unacceptable. Unacceptable to the United States. Unacceptable to Israel. And unacceptable to the region and the international community.

So let me be very clear: The United States is determined to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
How determined? Determined enough to go to war? Because that's going to be the only way to stop them and to date this administration has set avoiding war as its number one goal.
We are working with our partners in the United Nations on new Security Council sanctions that will show Iran’s leaders that there are real consequences for their intransigence, that the only choice is to live up to their international obligations. Our aim is not incremental sanctions, but sanctions that will bite. It is taking time to produce these sanctions, and we believe that time is a worthwhile investment for winning the broadest possible support for our efforts. But we will not compromise our commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring these weapons.
Let's cut the chase. When are these sanctions going to come? Before or after Iran completes its development of nuclear weapons? You promised September, December and February. Next week is April 1. When is it going to happen already?
Iran is not the only threat on the horizon. Israel today is confronting some of the toughest challenges in her history. The conflict with the Palestinians and with Israel’s Arab neighbors is an obstacle to prosperity and opportunity for Israelis, Palestinians, and people across the region. And it threatens Israel’s long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state.


First, we cannot ignore the long-term population trends that result from Israeli occupation. As Defense Minister Barak and others have observed, the inexorable mathematics of demography are hastening the hour at which Israelis may have to choose between preserving their democracy and staying true to the dream of a Jewish homeland. Given this reality, a two-state solution is the only viable path for Israel to remain both a democracy and a Jewish state.
Actually, Israel seems to be prospering quite well regardless of the conflict. Hmmm.

For that matter, the 'Palestinians' (well, the Fatah part anyway) had the largest jump in GDP in the region last year.

And the only threat to Israel's long-term future as a secure and democratic Jewish state are people who are trying to get us to go back to the insecure Auschwitz borders that existed before 1967. The so-called demographic threat is nonsense and most Israelis know it.
Second, we cannot be blind to the political implications of continued conflict. There is a struggle between those in the region who accept peace and coexistence with Israel, and those who reject it and seek only continued violence. The status quo strengthens the rejectionists who claim peace is impossible and weakens those who would accept coexistence. That does not serve Israel's interests or our own. Those willing to negotiate need to be able to show results for their efforts. And those who preach violence must be proven wrong. All of our regional challenges -- confronting the threat posed by Iran, combating violent extremism, promoting democracy and economic opportunity – become harder if rejectionists grow in power and influence.
Who in this region accepts peace and co-existence with Israel? Egypt? Jordan? (Both of whom refuse to normalize relations with Israel despite having entered into treaties with us many years ago). Surely she cannot believe that Syria or Iran is suddenly going to accept us because we facilitate the creation of a 'Palestinian' state reichlet?
Finally, we must recognize that the ever-evolving technology of war is making it harder to guarantee Israel’s security. For six decades, Israelis have guarded their borders vigilantly. But advances in rocket technology mean that Israeli families are now at risk far from those borders. Despite efforts at containment, rockets with better guidance systems, longer range, and more destructive power are spreading across the region. Hizbollah has amassed tens of thousands of rockets on Israel’s northern border. Hamas has a substantial number in Gaza. And even if some of these are still crude, they all pose a serious danger, as we saw last week.
Does she really think Hezbullah will give up those rockets if there's a 'Palestinian state'? Does she really think Hamas will give up theirs if there's a 'Palestinian state' alongside Israel or if Fatah controls that state? You've got to be kidding.
Behind these terrorist organizations and their rockets, we see the destabilizing influence of Iran. Reaching a two-state solution will not end all these threats, but failure to do so gives our extremist foes a pretext to spread violence, instability, and hatred.
Who says they even need the pretext? Israel's very existence is the pretext. This conflict is existential - if it were about borders the 'Palestinians' would have accepted one of the offers of statehood they've gotten in the last ten years if not one of the tens of offers that they got before that. But they didn't because the conflict is existential. If we give them a state, all we do is strip ourselves of the space we need to defend ourselves.
The way forward is clear: two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security, with peace between Israel and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon, and normal relations between Israel and all the Arab states. A comprehensive peace that is real and not a slogan, that is rooted in genuine recognition of Israel's right to exist in peace and security, and that offers the best way to ensure Israel's enduring survival and well-being. And, it is a goal that the Obama administration is determined to achieve.
If the way forward is so clear, why didn't your husband get it done? Have you asked him? Who said yes and who said no?
When a Hamas-controlled municipality glorifies violence and renames a square after a terrorist who murdered innocent Israelis, it insults the families on both sides who have lost loves ones in this conflict. And when instigators deliberately mischaracterize the rededication of a synagogue in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s old city and call upon their brethren to “defend” nearby Muslim holy sites from so-called “attacks,” it is purely and simply an act of incitement. These provocations are wrong and must be condemned for needlessly inflaming tensions and imperiling prospects for a comprehensive peace.
This is what I used to headline this post. What a bleeping moron. Ramallah - the city that named the square after Dalal al Mughrabi - is controlled by FATAH not Hamas. Dalal al Mughrabi was a FATAH terorrist. FATAH did that dedication - not Hamas. What will it take to get through her thick skull that FATAH ARE TERRORISTS just like Hamas. They just talk more nicely.
New construction in East Jerusalem or the West Bank undermines mutual trust and endangers the proximity talks that are the first step toward the full negotiations that both sides want and need.
Then why does it only matter when it's Israeli construction. If we're asked to freeze construction so as not to change anything, why aren't the 'Palestinians'?
We commend the government of President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad for the reforms they have undertaken to strengthen law and order, and the progress they have made in improving the quality of life in the West Bank. But we encourage them to redouble their efforts to put an end to incitement and violence, continue to ensure security and rule of law, and ingrain a culture of peace and tolerance among Palestinians.
What reforms? What efforts to end incitement?

By the way, Laura Rozen reported that they changed the seating arrangements in the hall so that it would be harder to hear Clinton being booed.
One attendee says ahead of Clinton's speech to the conference, "They've set up the hall so that there are fewer people between the podium and the TV cameras than usual." To lessen the chance of any "boos" being picked up, he explained.
I'm sure there were a lot of boos. And with good reason.

Anyone who was there, I'd love to hear from you.


I want to make it clear why it's important that Clinton thinks that Hamas controls Ramallah.

The Obama administration, like every US administration since Bill Clinton's, is incapable of admitting that Fatah is a terror organization. Only a terror organization would have honored a terrorist like Dalal al-Mughrabi, who was responsible for the murder of 37 Israeli civilians (including 13 children) and one American civilian and the wounding of hundreds of others in what is known as the "Coastal Road massacre."

So in Clinton's mind, since Fatah is not a terror organization, Fatah could not have honored al-Mughrabi. So it must be Hamas.

The implications for the 'peace process' - the fact that the United States refuses to recognize that it is trying to deal with a terror organization and is asking Israel to make peace with a terror organization - ought to be obvious.


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At 9:47 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'd love to hear what Barry Rubin thinks about it. I'd bet he'd say the Administration got it exactly backwards. As he has written in the past, its not Israel that has held up the two-state solution - its the PA and you will note that in Hillary Clinton's entire address making demands of Israel, there is not a single word censuring the PA for its obduracy and extremism. To the contrary, there is praise for its non-existent moderation and absence of reforms.

And we're led to believe its Israel that's the sole obstacle to Palestinian statehood? Puhleeaze -if you're dumb enough to buy what Hillary Clinton is selling, I'll buy that so-called Hamas square in Ramallah for you.

A most disappointing speech to AIPAC.

At 10:35 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Barry Rubin finally came out with an observation: Israelis are not asking the Obami to be pro-Israel; just "even-handed."

Now find the glaring contradiction in Clinton's AIPAC address:

Hillary's AIPAC Speech


Read it all

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Your Correspondent said...

Perhaps by substituting "Hamas" for "Fatah" she is trying to remind us that there is no substantial difference between them.

At 1:03 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'm sure the error was unintentional. It wouldn't have helped Clinton's case to point out that Abu Bluff has reserved the right to resort to terror against Israel if things don't go the way he wants. And he said that right next to George Mitchell, who didn't bat an eye. So where do the Palestinians have to change their ways? The Obami as far as any one can see, aren't placing any demands upon them to compromise to achieve peace.

At 1:52 AM, Blogger Elder of Ziyon said...

You are wrong, and it is even worse.

The square is in El Bireh, which is nominally Hamas controlled. Which means that Hillary wasn't wrong - she was knowingly deceptive.



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