Hillary Clinton and Israel: A 30-Year Record of Friendship, Leadership, and Strength
Hillary Clinton has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and the importance of America’s bond with Israel. She is one of Israel’s most effective and energetic defenders on the world stage. As President, she will protect Israel’s security, confront regional threats facing the U.S. and Israel, and fight back against efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state.
From the State Department and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, Clinton has made support for Israel one of her top priorities.
As Secretary, Clinton’s State Department reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to preserving Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) and requested increased assistance for Israel every year, from $2.55 billion when she took office to $3.1 billion in FY2013, a nearly 20% increase. She worked to build stronger defense programs for Israel, including upgraded Patriot missiles and the Iron Dome system, which blocked rockets from Hamas and Hezbollah and saved Israeli lives, as well as helping equip Israel with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. During her tenure, Prime Minister Netanyahu credited our “unprecedented” security cooperation with Israel. She led international efforts to pass UN Security Council Resolution 1929, imposing the harshest sanctions on Iran in history. In 2012, she led negotiations to establish a ceasefire in Gaza and end rocket attacks from Hamas. She tirelessly fought efforts to delegitimize Israel: calling out the UN Human Rights Council for its “structural bias against Israel;” criticizing the Goldstone Report as “one-sided;” and making sure the United States blocked UN Security Council resolutions for Palestinian statehood.
As a Senator from New York, Clinton championed legislation to get tough on Iran; led the effort to crack down on Palestinian incitement in textbooks and schools; and fought successfully to have Israel’s Magen David Adom accepted by the International Red Cross. She introduced and co-sponsored numerous bills to support Israel; isolate and weaken terrorist groups and their state sponsors; and elevate the fight against anti-Semitism in the Middle East, Europe, and around the world.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
As First Lady, Clinton supported Israel’s search for peace and the fight against terrorism, saying “I understand the need never to compromise the security of Israel.” She traveled repeatedly to Israel and forged a lasting bond and friendships with Israeli leaders and people.
“When it comes to a region full of uncertainty, upheaval, revolution, this much is constant and clear: America and Israel are in it together. This is a friendship that comes naturally to us. Americans honor Israel as a homeland dreamed of for generations and finally achieved by pioneering men and women in my lifetime. We share bedrock beliefs in freedom, equality, democracy, and the right to live without fear. What threatens Israel threatens America, and what strengthens Israel strengthens us.” —Hillary Clinton, Remarks at the Saban Forum, November 30, 2012 (Washington, DC)
Deepen Our Unshakable Commitment to Israel’s Security
Clinton believes that Israel’s security is a national priority for the United States. Israel must be able to defend itself by itself. As President, she will:
- Increase support for rocket and missile defense, including Iron Dome and David’s Sling, and push to expand missile defense to northern Israel, so that Israel can defend itself against rocket attacks and medium-range missiles, and push for push for better tunnel detection technology to better protect Israel from infiltration by terrorists and weapons;
- Guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge to ensure the IDF is equipped to deter and defeat aggression from the full spectrum of threats;
- Renew the U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, providing a 10-year U.S. commitment to provide Israel with the security assistance it needs to maintain the most capable military in the Middle East;
- Expand shared security and intelligence operations and U.S.-Israel military exercises;
- Partner with Israel to advance the two-state vision of a Jewish and democratic Israel with secure and recognized borders.
Redouble U.S. Leadership to Confront Regional Threats
The threats emanating from the Middle East, including the dangers posed by Iran and its terrorist proxies, demand strong, smart and determined U.S. leadership. As President, Clinton will:
- Vigorously enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran and not hesitate to take military action to protect the United States and our allies if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon;
- Redouble international pressure on Iran to end its support for terrorist proxies that threaten Israel and destabilize the region, from Lebanon to Gaza to Syria;
- Strengthen our alliances and partnerships to combat terrorism and improve the long-term trend lines in the region, from North Africa across the Middle East.
Defend Israel on the World Stage
Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy. International organizations should work with Israel to advance our shared values, not attacking it. As President, Clinton will:
- Veto any effort at the UN to short-circuit negotiations between the parties;
- Fight any effort to undermine Israel’s security or impinge on its right to self-defense;
- Oppose anti-Israel bias in UN bodies and other international forums;
- Stand up against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement;
- Cut off efforts to unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood outside of the context of negotiations with Israel.
1Examples of Senate action by Clinton include: Introduced resolution calling for immediate release of Israeli soldiers held by Hamas and Hezbollah. [S.Res. 92, passed 4/12/07].
2Co-sponsored Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007. [S.970 into’d 3/22/07].
3Co-sponsored the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 [P.L. 106-446, passed 6/23/06].
4Co-sponsored a resolution condemning Hezbollah and Hamas and their state sponsors and supporting Israel’s exercise of its right to self-defense. [S.Res. 534, passed 7/18/06].
5Co-sponsored resolution condemning anti-Semitic remarks of Iran’s president. [S.Res. 292, passed 10/27/05].
6Introduced resolution supporting Israel’s construction of anti-terror security fence. [S.Res. 408, intro’d 7/20/04].
7Co-sponsored legislation requiring the State Department issue a report on Anti-Semitism around the world and calling for increased efforts to combat Anti-Semitism. [P.L. 108-332, passed 10/16/04].
8Sponsored amendment to push the Red Cross to accept Magen David Adom. [S.Amdt. 162, agreed 1/23/03].
9Co-sponsored the Syria Accountability Act of 2003, countering support for terrorism and supply of arms to Hezbollah. [S. 982 became PL 108-175, passed 12/12/03].
10Co-sponsored Iran and Libya Sanctions Extension Act of 2001. [S.994 intro’d 6/7/2001].