Hillary Clinton Breaks Silence on US-Israel Tensions Under Obama, Calls for Return of ‘Constructive’ Relationship
After weeks of escalating criticism of Israel by the Obama Administration, Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and the leading 2016 Democratic presidential contender, on Sunday called for the renewal of the “special” relationship between the US and the Jewish state.
In a telephone conversation with Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Clinton said that she “thinks we need to all work together to return the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests.”
The Secretary said this includes “a two-state solution pursued through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.” She further noted that, “we must ensure that Israel never becomes a partisan issue.”
Mr. Hoenlein, who initiated the conversation, said that, “Secretary Clinton’s views are of special importance and timeliness given recent issues in the US-Israel relationship. We note her call for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which, we believe, is the only possible route to a true peace.”
Clinton’s comments follow weeks of escalating criticisms from the Obama Administration mainly addressing comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu days before his reelection earlier this month. The latest attacks follow a pattern of aggressive language directed towards Israel’s leaders throughout the Obama presidency which has been marked by a number of stark policy differences between the Israelis and the White House.
A number of major Jewish leaders have spoken out in recent days, calling on the White House to tone down its rhetoric and to respect the historic bipartisan nature of US-Israel relations.
Explaining the significance of Clinton’s comments Hoenlein told The Algemeiner, “As the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, her words are especially significant and impactful.”
“We believe that it is particularly important, given the challenges Israel and the region are facing, that the US and Israel stand together to advance their shared concerns and interests,” Hoenlein added. “There is too much at stake to do otherwise.”