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April 17, 2016 9:39 am

Hillary Clinton: Fighting Oppression, Inequality, and Injustice on Passover

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Hillary Clinton. Photo: Gage Skimdore via Wikimedia Commons.

Hillary Clinton. Photo: Gage Skimdore via Wikimedia Commons. – I didn’t grow up celebrating Pesach. But over the years, I’ve attended seders where I was inspired by the remarkable story told in the haggadah—a tale of a people who, sustained by fortitude and faith, escaped slavery and reached their freedom.

As Jewish people around the world prepare for this festival, I wanted to offer a few of my own thoughts on ancient lessons that still hold wisdom for today’s world.

The first is the importance of religious freedom.  The Book of Exodus recalls how the Pharaoh denied the Israelites the right to worship as they chose. Today, there are new threats to religious liberty and an alarming rise in anti-Semitism. In many parts of Europe, we’ve seen synagogues vandalized and gravesites desecrated. International efforts to malign and isolate the Jewish people—like the alarming “BDS” movement—are gaining steam.

We must confront these forces of intolerance. As New York’s U.S. senator, I sponsored laws to support restitution for victims of the Holocaust. And I joined with the Helsinki Commission to help protect and preserve Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe. As secretary of state, I stood up for oppressed religious minorities in China, Iran, and around the world. If I’m fortunate enough to be elected president, I would ensure that America continues to call out and stand up to anti-Semitism. And just as Jews have always stood up for other communities, we must push back on the rising trend of anti-religious sentiment in any form.

The second lesson is the importance of caring for one another. After a hasty departure from Egypt, as the Israelites wandered for forty long years in the Sinai, they developed a covenant with G-d and each other, so that no one in future generations would be left out or left behind.

I believe that same sort of social contract exists in America. We must fight any effort to weaken or privatize Medicare and Social Security, and we must finally expand benefits for widows. We must improve housing for low-income families; at their best, public and affordable housing gives families a chance to get back on their feet, afford other essentials, and give their kids a safe and healthy place to grow up. We should provide $25 billion to build more affordable housing, and up to $10,000 in down payment assistance for families looking to buy their first home.

The third and most important lesson of the Book of Exodus comes at the end. So that they would never again be subjugated, the Jewish people arrive to their own homeland. I’ve proudly stood with the State of Israel for my entire career, making sure it always has the resources it needs to maintain its qualitative military edge. I also worked to ensure funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system and saw its effectiveness first-hand when I worked with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to negotiate a cease-fire in Gaza. Since its installation, this technology has saved countless lives.

Protecting allies and partners like Israel is one of the most solemn duties of any commander-in-chief. Yet others in this race suggest we must remain “neutral” in order to negotiate. But Israel’s safety is simply non-negotiable. And it would be a grave mistake for the United States to cede the mantle of leadership in the peace process to anyone else. For the security of Israel and the world, we need America to remain a respected global leader, and be ready and able to block any international effort to isolate or attack Israel.

There’s one final lesson in the story of the Exodus: the reminder to keep telling its story. To connect the past with the present, participants in every seder are taught to imagine that they themselves were still enslaved in Egypt.

In today’s world, many don’t have to imagine. Every year, more than 20 million people are trafficked or sold into slavery by modern-day despots and Pharaohs. In my travels as secretary of state, I met many who have escaped the contemporary forms of enslavement that continue to plague our planet. And I believe that our shared traditions—Jewish and American—give us a moral obligation to bring help and hope to those in need.

At a trafficking shelter in Kolkata, India, I met remarkable women and girls who had suffered horrible abuses and were getting their lives back on track. I’ll never forget meeting one young girl who was born into slavery in a brothel, but managed to escape with her mother. It would never be easy, but with the help of others, they were finally out of harm’s way and able to reach for their G-d-given potential.

This Pesach, let’s continue fighting all forms of oppression, inequality, and injustice. Let’s take a page from Moses and Aaron, and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. And let’s never forget to keep drawing attention to the plight of millions of people still in need of their own form of deliverance.

They are out there, waiting for us.

Hillary Clinton is the former U.S. secretary of state and senator from New York, and a Democratic candidate for president.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Chris Rettenmoser

    Hillery is FALSE & A LIAR !
    DON’T VOTE FOR HER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • When will Jewish people stop believing this excrement? I will never vote for a Democrat again.

  • When will Jewish people stop believing this stuff? I will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances.

  • Isaac Brajtman

    Gee, what a statement. What was the fee?

    • Carol

      Ms. Rodham, aka Clinton, is full of hot air. One who hugs, kisses, befriends, seeks money by posturing to evil, is a LIAR. She is, and always has been two-faced.

  • She writes this to get the Jewish vote in New York and California, then if God forbid she becomes president she’ll squeeze Israel for concessions like all her predecessors. Don’t believe a word she says, she’s a liar like her husband, who said he didn’t have sex with ‘that women’ Monica Lewinsky.

  • Peter Joffe

    If there is a word that describes peoples’ mind-sets today, it is the word tolerance. The thought behind tolerance is that right and wrong varies from situation to situation, in other words it’s all relative. What’s wrong for me may be right for you and vice versa. Tolerance teaches that all views are equally valid and there are no absolutes. The only absolute is that there are no absolutes. We tolerate everything except intolerance. As a result, we are killing truth and values have no value.. You cannot reward those who produce nothing by penalizing those who do produce and develop.

  • Mrs. S. Steinherz

    Nice article but it will be an injustice to the Jewish people in Israel and throughout the world to give away any of Israel away. The exodus was a stepping stone to the Jewish people acquiring the land of Israel which was promised by G-d to their forefathers.The first mitzva given to the Jewish people was to declare the new months, the first month being Nisan when Passover occurs yet the Torah, even though a book of law, does not begin with the first commandment.
    In the beginning G-d Created Heaven and Earth (1)….Rashi’s commentary on this very first statement of the Torah follows:
    “..It was not necessary to begin the Torah (whose main objective is to teach commandments) with this verse…. And what is, therefore, the reason that it begins with Genesis? Because if the nations of the world will say to Israel: ‘You are robbers because you have conquered with force the lands of the seven nations (of Canaan) they (Israel) can answer: ‘He created it (as described in Genesis) and gave it to whomever was proper in His eyes. Of His own will He gave it to them (the non-Jews) and of his own will He took it from them and gave it to us!’ No one has a right to give away any ofIsrael.

  • Howard Kahan

    “This Pesach lets continue fighting all forms of oppression,and inequality and injustice.” I wonder who she was thinking of, when she pandered to the Tribe ? It wasnt about Israel. I think I am about to throw up.

  • Abbushuki

    This sounds like it was written by a leftist Reform rabbi: it was just a labor rights walkout; no Divinity involved; the Israelites developed the Torah themselves and Israel was just a travel destination. Pesach through a leftist lens.

  • enufizenuf

    First of all, she didn’t write this. One of her staff wrote it and submitted it under her name. It does not represent her real feelings, for she is an anti-Semite and an Israel-hater. Calling staff members “Kikes” and refusing to enter a home because of a menorah in the window are not the actions of a friend to our people. She and her husbands are liars, second only to the creep presently occupying the Oval Office, and no matter what she states about Israel now she will stab it in the back ferociously once she’s in office. Jews who vote for either her or Sanders prove only one thing, many Jews can be peed upon and convinced its raining.

  • Lia

    She needed to be invited to seders to grasp that G-d has a covenant with His Chosen People? Hasn’t anybody given the poor woman a Bible?

  • Ephraim

    Hilary is possibly the biggest liar and phones to ever run for any office. She is the first person every in American history to publicly state from the White House that Israel must give isrEl to terrorists for a state to be closer to kill more Jews. She still tells the media that Israel must be two states. One for terrorist who are sworn to murder all Jews. Any Jew who votes for this evil Jew hater should be ashamed
    Ed of themselves and take a long hard look in the mirror

  • Bill Kaplan

    So, with the posting of Hillary’s “Jews good – Vote for me” piece, just wondering what’s the publication schedule for op-ed, barely disguised, political ads by Sanders, Trump, Cruz, and Kasich?
    Or has The Algemeiner become a semi-official arm of the Clinton campaign?

  • Stan Kessock

    I find it disingenuous for Mrs. Clinton to send the above message to the Jewish community, while ignoring her history of association with groups that have espoused anti-Semitism and supported terrorism. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal during her husband’s presidency, in 1996 that revealed that both Mr. and Mrs. Clinton hosted militant Islamic groups, which had, at the White House, proclaimed their support for terrorism. As a result of flak received, Mrs. Clinton announced at an October 25, 1996 news conference that she was returning $50,000 in campaign contributions raised by the American Muslim Alliance, whose leaders sanctioned terrorism, published anti-Semitic statements and repeatedly hosted conferences that were forums for denunciations of Jews and exhortations to wage jihad. When Mrs. Clinton was asked at the conference why she had met repeatedly with other groups that had openly supported Hamas, Hezbollah and other foreign terrorist organizations, she responded that the administration has tried to promote a framework for peace. She said it certainly included lines of communication to many different groups and many different individuals.

  • Fred

    Funny..the stories around Maine township high school and park ridge suggests an indifference to Jews. Maybe when it was obvious you needed our vote it suddenly made a difference,but you were no friend of Jews then

  • Esther S

    Please tell me that my liberal Jewish brothers and sisters see through HRC’s phony solidarity with Israel? Her silence on this new plan with Putin & BHO to make the Golan part of Syria’s peace process (please, another disaster that HRC claims as a victory) is deafening. Any Jew that supports her candidacy for president does so while hammering a stake through the heart of Israel.

  • Yaakov


  • elixelx

    So, Hillary, will you tell the Saudis that we will boycott them if they continue to keep women second class citizens? or will you say that we will not interfere because this is a social construct, not a religious problem and therefore not our business?
    will you abandon the Obama mandate which requires Christian groups to pay for contraception and abortion insurance, which they will never use? or will you say that we will not interfere because this is a social construct, not a religious problem and therefore not our business?
    Will you attack those who slaughter Christians abroad?or will you say that we will not interfere because this is a social construct, not a religious problem and therefore not our business?
    There is more to religious freedom than you have gleaned from your superficial reading and understanding of the Haggadah, dear Hillary, and the first rule is: Build a fence around the Torah!