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After Jon Stewart Goes to Bat for Gaza, Hillary Clinton Puts Him in His Place

July 18, 2014 7:51 pm 36 comments

Hillary Clinton. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A day after Jewish comedian Jon Stewart caused outrage with a segment on his Daily Show on the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, he hosted former Secretary of State, and wannabe president, Hillary Clinton on his show to address the topic.

After Stewart attempted to draw her into criticizing Israel, Clinton swiftly put him in his place.

Watch Hillary Clinton and Jon Stewart’s interview in the video below:

A full transcript of the conversation is below:

Stewart: You negotiated the previous cease-fire between Hamas and Israel. Before we get into the obvious snake pit of, like, ‘these guys are right,’ ‘these guys are wrong,’ ‘they’re evil,’ ‘they’re not evil,’ can we at least agree that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is overwhelming and that the world must do more for the people who are trapped by this conflict?

Clinton: Well, and they’re trapped by their leadership. Unfortunately, it’s a two-pronged trapping. They have leadership that is committed to resistance and violence and therefore their actions are mostly about how do we get new and better missiles to launch them at Israel instead of saying, ‘Hey, let’s try to figure out how we’re going to help make your lives better.’ And when I negotiated the cease-fire in November of 2012, it was right on the brink of Israel once again invading Gaza because of the rockets and so I flew from Cambodia, where I was with the president, to try to see what I can do. And, you know, the Israelis are absolutely right in saying that they can’t just sit there and let rockets rain down. They have a missile defense system, which is working well, but, you know, that can’t be certain, and now there are drones apparently that are being launched from Gaza. They have tried with the Palestinian Authority President Abbas to figure out a way to try to move forward on some sort of negotiated settlement, very difficult. But the Hamas leadership now feels somewhat trapped themselves because they had an ally with the Muslim Brotherhood. I negotiated the cease-fire with Morsi and Morsi was able to convince the Hamas groups to abide by it. He’s gone, and the new regime in Cairo sees Hamas as a danger to them because they see them as a source of instability and violence that can affect them in Sinai and beyond. So they are trapped. And they are trapped, I would argue, first and foremost, by leadership that doesn’t really want to make the situation too much better because that gives them a lot of leverage over the poor people in Gaza.

Stewart: Don’t you think they would look at that, though, as, they’ve given a lot of different things a chance, these are the only guys to them that are giving any resistance to what their condition is?

Clinton: No.

Stewart: And if you’re living in that situation, couldn’t you see yourself thinking, these are our freedom fighters, even if they might be viewed differently.

Clinton: I don’t agree with that for a couple of reasons. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, and I was aware of that, I was in the Senate, I was talking to the people who were organizing it, they left a lot of their businesses. There was a really very valuable horticultural business that was set up by the Israelis who had lived in Gaza , and the idea was that this would be literally turned over, money was provided, there would be a fund that would train Palestinians in Gaza to do this work. And basically, the leadership said, ‘We don’t want anything left from Israel.’ Destroyed it all. That mentally, to me, is hard to deal with. If you look at the Palestinian Authority, even though it’s hard for them, they have said we want to end the violence, we want to negotiate a two-state solution, and we recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas has not, and says it will not do that. So we’re really in a terrible dilemma. And today there was an offer of a cease-fire from the Egyptian government. The Israelis immediately accepted it. The Hamas leadership said no. So part of what I see Hamas doing is their identity comes from being the violent resistance because they’re trying to somehow set themselves apart from Abbas and the Fatah segment to say ‘OK, we will talk with, we will deal with, we will cooperate with Israel despite our desire to have a state.’

Stewart: Do you believe though that the Israeli leadership, Netanyahu, truly are sincere? You know, the settlement building continues no matter what America or the rest of the world says. Doesn’t that send a message that it’s not a real sincerity on their part? And hasn’t he even talked recently about a one-state solution being the only option? So aren’t both of these peoples trapped by their leaderships? And the more we get into who’s worse, who’s better, the less we’re likely to find some sort of solution.

Clinton: Well, that’s why you can’t go at it like that. You’ve got to keep your eye on trying to persuade both sides. And when I say both sides I really mean the Israeli leadership and the Palestinian Authority leadership because as I say, Hamas has rejected the international standards by which they could be part of such a negotiation. The problem is if you can get to defining borders and our policy, ever since my husband was president, reiterated by Bush, reiterated by President Obama —

Stewart: You’re husband was president?

Clinton: Yes, he was. Yeah, he worked in one of those rooms without corners.

Stewart: You thought to yourself, I could get used to them?

Clinton: Well, not at the time. But, since then I’ve given it some thought.

Stewart: You’re running for president. You’re running.

Clinton: What he tried to do at Camp David, and what President Bush tried to do with something called Road Map, and what President Obama and Secretary Kerry and I before them tried to do was to come to an agreement that would outline borders and then some settlements would be in the borders and others would not be. I mean, that was the whole theory. And on both sides, I really think it’s not so much calculation or resistance, it’s insecurity and fear.

Stewart: It doesn’t seem sustainable (I agree with that) and it seems like both leaderships are getting something out of this conflict continuing otherwise it wouldn’t.

Clinton: I think, if they were both here, and I had to write about this, I had, I monitored and participated in the last leader-to-leader meetings. We had three such meetings where we really negotiated. It was just four of us in the room. It was Netanyahu, it was Abbas, it was me and George Mitchell, who was our special envoy.

Stewart: He was representing Hamas?

Clinton: No, he wasn’t. But he was a very good negotiator. Somebody who had worked on the Irish peace process. In fact, he tells a funny story about how he was in Jerusalem and talking about his work on the Irish peace process with my husband and he said, you know, this was a very long conflict, it went back 800 years and it took a long time and a lot of effort to get the parties to trust each other enough to make a negotiation that led to a peace agreement. 800 years. And one of the people in the audience, I think it was a Hebrew University, said, ‘such a recent conflict.’ I mean really, you know.

Clinton: So yeah, history is a heavyweight. And, there’s no doubt in my mind that both sides, and I’ve seen it again and again and again, they each know what an agreement should look like. And I remember when Ehud Barak was prime minister he made a very extensive offer to Yassar Arafat. And I think what happened was Arafat just basically said, ‘I’m afraid to take it. I don’t know what comes next. I’m comfortable in the role that I’m in, which is kind of a guerrilla turned politician, but I don’t know that I can be a leader, a  government leader.’ Everyone lives with their own fears and insecurities and what’s so tragic about the rockets coming from Gaza after a period of two plus years because of the cease-fire I was involved in, is now everybody’s back in their corners again. Unless we can give people enough of a sense of security on both sides that they’re gonna be better off and their children are gonna be better off, then the guys with the guns can always disrupt anything. It’s why an extremist in Israel killed, you know, Yitzhak Rabin. Because he knew Yitzhak Rabin could make a lasting peace. And there are extremists on all sides and people with guns on all sides. So leadership has to be very tough-minded and very strong, but they have to have enough support to make the hard choices.


  • Jaime lustgarten

    palestinos no quieren La Paz sino la destrucción de Israel y aniquilar a los judíos. Es lo que enseñaba a estas personas el gran mufti de Jerusalén el gran amigo de hitler en el Medio Oriente durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El odio de Hamas es ancestral y es la razón por la cual se debe rechazar un estado palestino que niega el derecho a existir de Israel.

    • Hi Jon, I congratulate you in your comments about Gaza. I will watch your show more often, now. Don’t you just love it when someone criticizes Israel they are anti Semitic or anti Jew? The thought of being anti Zionist does not equate to being an anti Jew or anti Semitic. And furthermore if you happen to be Jewish then you are called a self hating Jew. Oldest tricks in the world used by Zionists. And to Jaime, estas bein equivocado. Es al reves. Los Zionistas quieren matar a todos los Palestinos para robar el resto de las tierras. Los Zionistas son los agresores y los Palestinos estan resistiendo una ocupacion ilegal. Los Zionistas son unos ladrones, mentirosos, y asesinos. Es mejor que te des cuenta como los Zionistas te han mentido y empieces a estudiar la cuasa de este conflicto. El problema nos es Hamas porque ni si quiera existia en los 1940s. El problema es y ha sido el Zionismo.

  • Disgusting are you all the Jewish idiots who voted for Obama twice? Go figure you are praising Hitlery. Will you ever learn? You who calls yourself Jews are the farthest thing from it.

  • So much anger and hatred coming from so many responders above. I’m thankful to see some kinder words. Just because Mr Stewart questions Israel and worries about the people suffering in Gaza does not make him a self-hating Jew or an enemy. It makes him an independent thinker. And good for him for standing up and asking hard questions, despite the pain and suffering he knows Jews have suffered and continue to suffer. And good for Clinton for accepting the challenge. She may be holding back, and certainly her words could have been scripted. But I’m pretty sure that more people watched the two of them discuss this important issue than any other “news” network. So they are doing us all a favor by educating the public.

    • You are real independent a thinker repeating Steward’s words verbatim calling others not independent thinkers, his joke used the term self hating jew and other things you said.

  • Hillary Clinton has accomplished nothing of significance to the U.S. in her roles as First Lady, carpet-bagging Senator from NY, or Sec’y of State. Her words are scripted, and intended to curry favor from voters in case she decides to run in 2016 (I hope not!). She is insincere, and is clueless about the plight of middle-class Americans.

  • Bruce Robert

    I don’t watch stewart, ”him”, I have never found him entertaining. He is actually sic. Where is Jackie Gleason when we need him ………. now there was a man who was entertaining !

    • Jackie Gleason? I’m really old but holy guacamole, how freakin’ old are you?

      I guess Uncle Milty was unavailable as a dated reference then.

  • Oh, please Jon “Stewart” Leibowitz is an ideologically biased socialist who tells half-truths.

  • Also note The Kelly File a religious Catholic has been beautifully eloquent in defense of Israel, big time. Watch her unless you’re gay, she is pretty at least.

  • has anyone noticed the fat jowls of jon stewart sort of match the fat jowls of hilary? does my comment meet comedic standards? lets not kid ourselves !!anti Israel rhetoric does not really relate to real feelings. Its about money. Hiliary wants even more so she appears on jon,s program. jon wants more so he sucks up to this arrogant personality and delivers the astute set up to help her get the jewish moronic vote.
    even bill O.! had jon on his how so he can appear current hip and relevant. its about entertainment folks. nothing more… from strength to strength.

  • I agree with those above that state this conversation was a set up and that it’s for the purpose of election. She was never pro-Israel before. I saw a similar interview given by her husband. The real question is what would she do after being elected. I hope we never find out.

    • We will soon find out!

      • Thank you, Lynn. I intended to question the Algemeiner about what they’re doing. Any report that puts Hillary in a positive light is reckless and does not advance the interests of Israel or the USA. She’s a liar, opportunist, and enemy of Israel. I’m disappointed with the Algemeiner.

  • James David Tyler

    Hilary Clinton pro Israel? That’ll be the day

  • Jon Stewart? I’ve never been so disappointed in my life over your stupid statement. If you take the trouble to read just a little bit about Hamas, you will read that the children are brought up in an environment of hatred against the Jews and Israel. I am really disappointed in you John Stewart, I really thought that you were worthy of being a Jew!
    I say to you Hillary Clinton that, If the Democrats win again and I sincerely hope that they don’t, I would really want you to be the next President of the United States so. ten out of ten for you H.C. !! And. oh yes, please try not appear again on any show together with that self hating idiot Jew, Jon Stewart!

  • Consulting Doc

    Hillary put Stewart in his place? The transcript reveals Hillary making a rambling, semi-literate peroration that shows her lack of understanding of Hamas as a Muslim Bros. affiliate, a supplicant and agent (on and off) of Iran and a mortal enemy of the West. Hill doesn’t refer to Morsi as Egypt’s Muslim Bros. President, but slyly if not absent-mindedly insults the Sisi Administration as a “regime.” Egypt under Sisi has destroyed over 1,000 Hamas tunnels to prevent Hamas from smuggling in rockets and missiles and terrorists to use against Israel, while exporting Islamist terrorists into Sinai to murder Egyptian civilians and military and LE personnel. Hill did make the point that Israel has the right to protect its civilians from rockets fired by Hamas at and only at civilian homes and neighborhoods. Hill didn’t answer J.S. properly on the settlement “issue” as irrelevant, given that settling Judea and Samaria was permitted by Oslo, did not prevent Israel-Pal negotiations and, in fact, has been severely limited by PM Netanyahu. Hill made little more than a feeble effort to differentiate the Western and civilized Israeli ELECTED leadership from the Pal terrorist Capos (Abbas is in the 9th year of his 4 year-elected term) and lieutenants and ends her verbal diarrhea with a bizarre claim that PM Rabin was assassinated by and “extremist” (he was also a religious law student) who “knew that Yitzhak Rabin could make lasting peace.” This bizarre statement alone should have disqualified her from the office of Secretary of State and ought to disqualify her from even running for US President. Amir believed that Rabin and Oslo were leading Israel to a suicidal catastrophe, not a “lasting peace.” Amir’s horrible act of political murder actually cemented Oslo as Israeli policy; Amir was sadly unaware that Rabin was on the verge of canceling Oslo and would certainly have ended it if he had lived to see the machinations, incitement to murder and acts of terrorism ordered by Arafat. Hil’s defense of Israel -feeble as it was- did, however, expose Stewart’s ignorance of the real issues and facts of this conflict and his baseless animosity towards Israel. Stewart’s nasty attack on Israel, his likening of the IDF to Hamas killers and his justification of Hamas’ attempted murders of innocent Israeli civilian women and children by smug reference to “settlements,” may be his “jumping the shark moment.” He’s no longer funny, nor his “satire” clever. And his highbrow defense of Jew killers ought to finally mark him as unfit for prime time and his show as unfit for his mentally disabled audience who have apparently been shown to think that The Daily Show presents actual news and intelligent commentary, rather than the lowbrow, puerile wink-wink innuendo that is its usual fare. Jon, get out of tv and get a real job,- perhaps as a sanitation worker in NYC or LA; in that capacity, you’ll be collecting garbage rather than disseminating it..

    • And they got his Brit protoge as the successor to the other one Maher on HBO, Maher also turned on Israel in the past few years. I stopped watching them both.

    • congratulations on a most intelligent statement, I agree with everything you have said.

    • He should go to Gaza and see how Hamas treats him. DEAD in a second. I despise Jews that attack Israel.

  • such rubbish! arafat did way more than just “back away”, the ugly bastard started the “intifada”, which seems to be what ALL “palestinian” leaders do, when they are threatened with peace.

  • Clinton wasn’t so pro-Israel during her time as Secretary of State when it really counted. Her position on Israel is
    based on what will get her elected.

    • She wasn’t and isn’t pro-Israel religiously, that is all. She has always to some degree supported Israel in the conflict but she also supports Palestine to have its own state. She mentions in this interview they have to work on BOTH SIDES and that she is working towards them both acknowledging TWO states. Those who hate her for not being pro Israel enough hate her for precisely that which she does mention in this interview and has been working on for so long.

      If this conversation makes her seem more pro Israel than usual is because the interviewer was criticizing the part of her firm position that supports Israel, so she defends it. When defending her position, if the scales are looking more negative against Israel than her position has always been, she will come off as being more pro Israel than usual. There is no hypocrisy on that. If in Fox news, they start attacking her posture to have Palestine keep certain borders, then she would look anti-Israel. It doesn’t mean she is.


  • Jon Stewart, another self-hating Jew in a long line of self hating Jews. I am sure that Noam Chomsky is very proud him. In fact, he should invite Chomsky for a pleasant hate filled chat.

    His questions show someone who is completely unaware of the history of the conflict.

  • Oh Algemeiner you are so so ignorant and wrong about this!!! Everything HC does is set up, Stwart is not anti-Israel he is only pro-having powerful liberal guests. The exchange was set up. She is the queen of the anti-Israel move the American secret services have been making. Trust me this was set up. Well set up is wrong EVERYTHING SHE DOES IN PUBLIC ESPECIALLY ON TV IS TIGHTLY CONTROLLED.

    • How this article should have been worded if you were real journalists: Hillary had John lob some anti-Israel questions at Hilary so Hilary could retain the Jewish vote, in the same percentages of her husband, or over 70%.

  • Jon Stewart is an Alfred Rosenberg wannabe.

  • Why is she talking to a comedian?

  • Liliane Abergel


  • Thank you Hillary Clinton for your perspective and clarity regarding this difficult situation. When people of good-will want to change the landscape for the better and their respective citizens…everything is possible.
    Thank you for your service.


  • Bryna Weiss

    She is marvelous!!!

  • Wow. Very impressed with Hillary on the subject of Israel-for a change.

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