Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledged a strong “personal” connection to Israel, noting that a “strong and secure“Jewish state is also good for America. Speaking in Iowa Monday to the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, Clinton offered her support to Israel.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the former senator and secretary of state said of her relationship to the Jewish state, “More than policy, it’s personal.
“I’ve had the great experience of visiting Israel many times, of making friends with so many of the leaders and activists, who have built Israel and have continued to fight and defend it,” Clinton said, “and I have been in the middle of the raucous debate that Israeli democracy represents, and it is, for me, a very deep connection.”
In her 18-minute address to the crowd of 150, her first to a Jewish organization in the state, Clinton declared that a positive relationship between the US and Israel “has to be understood in our national interest.”
According to The Times of Israel, Clinton went on to say, “Israel needs a strong America by its side, and America needs a strong and secure Israel by our side — to have an Israel that remains a bastion of stability and a core ally in a region of chaos.”
Clinton, who was also fighting a hoarse voice, spoke out against Palestinian violence, calling on leaders in the region to condemn the incitement against Israel. She stopped short, however, of blaming Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, saying instead he “has never stopped cooperating with Israel on security, even when there have been outbursts of terrorism.”
Rather than pushing for change in the Palestinian leadership, should she be elected, Clinton said she would be committed to working with Abbas. “I am cautious about doing anything that would disrupt the existing status quo,” she said.
Iowa will be the first state to vote for presidential nominees, and the Des Moines Register offered its support to Clinton Saturday. The newspaper board endorsed her candidacy, saying its members were impressed with her “knowledge and experience”.