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- November 8, 2015

As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Comes To Washington, A Look At The Failed Obama-Clinton Record On Israel Shows A Democrat Party Eager To Abandon Our Key Ally

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • As Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu comes to Washington to meet with Obama, it is unlikely that there will be a "reset" between the two governments following their disagreements over Iran and new Israeli settlements.
  • The Obama Administration has overseen the transformation of U.S.-Israeli relations turn into a "full-blown crisis."
  • On the campaign trail, Clinton attempts to paper over her failed Israel record and broken promises to our key ally.

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Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Will Meet With Obama In Washington Following "Bitter" Disagreements Between The Two Governments. "After a bitter disagreement over the Iran nuclear deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama will meet for talks in Washington on Nov. 9, the White House announced Wednesday. The pair haven't met in person since final negotiations began on the agreement, which will loosen economic sanctions on Tehran in exchange for inspections of its nuclear sites, and the slowing of its nuclear program." (Kevin Liptak, "After Split Over Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu Coming To White House In November," CNN, 9/16/15)

  • "This Meeting Will Not Reset The Relationship" Between The Obama White House And Netanyahu's Government, As "The Gap Between The Two Is Essentially Unbridgeable." "This meeting will not reset the relationship between the two men in any significant way, and not only because Netanyahu has decided to troll Obama by accepting the Irving Kristol Award from the American Enterprise Institute on this same short trip. The meeting between the two leaders will most likely be businesslike and correct, but the gap between the two is essentially unbridgeable." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "Explaining The Toxic Obama-Netanyahu Marriage," The Atlantic, 10/9/15)
  • CNN Headline: "Bad Relationship Gets Worse For Obama, Netanyahu" (Stephen Collinson, "Bad Relationship Gets Worse For Obama, Netanyahu," CNN, 3/4/15)

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS OVERSEEN THE TRANSFORMATION OF U.S.-ISRAELI RELATIONS TURN INTO A "FULL-BLOWN CRISIS"

"Long Time Observers Of The U.S.-Israeli Relationship Struggle To Remember When The Personal Chemistry Between The Leaders Of The Two Countries Was So Bad." (Stephen Collinson and Elise Labott, "The Personal Tension Between Obama, Netanyahu," CNN, 10/30/14)

  • "Relations Between The Obama And Netanyahu Governments Have Moved Toward A Full-Blown Crisis." "This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Crisis In U.S.-Israeli Relations Is Officially Here," The Atlantic , 10/28/14)

The Obama-Clinton Iran Nuclear Deal Made The Already Fragile Relationship Between The U.S.-Israeli Governments "Even More Estranged"

"Mr. Obama And Mr. Netanyahu, Never Close, Grew Even More Estranged This Year" After The U.S. Brokered A Nuclear Deal With Iran In Exchange For An Easing Of International Sanctions. "Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, never close, grew even more estranged this year as the president and his counterparts from five other world powers neared a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions. Mr. Netanyahu came to Washington to voice his objections in a joint meeting of Congress and Mr. Obama refused to meet with him while he was in town, citing coming Israeli elections." (Peter Baker, "Obama To Host Netanyahu In First Meeting Since Nuclear Deal With Iran," The New York Times , 9/16/15)

"The Israeli Government Adamantly Opposes The Deal Signed By The U.S., Iran And Five World Powers." "The Israeli government adamantly opposes the deal signed by the U.S., Iran and five world powers. The agreement seeks to keep Iran from building a nuclear bomb in exchange for international sanctions relief. Critics say the agreement makes too many concessions and could eventually allow for a nuclear-armed Iran." ("Obama To Speak With Jewish Groups On Iran Deal," CBS News, 8/28/15)

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Slammed The Iran Nuclear Deal, Calling It A "Historic Mistake" That Would Create "A Terrorist Nuclear Superpower." "Almost as soon as the agreement was announced, to cheers in Vienna and on the streets of Tehran, its harshest critics said it would ultimately empower Iran rather than limit its capability. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called it a 'historic mistake'that would create a 'terrorist nuclear superpower.'" (David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon, "Deal Reached On Iran Nuclear Program; Limits On Fuel Would Lessen With Time," The New York Times , 7/14/15)

Just Last Month, Secretary Of State John Kerry Suggested Israeli Settlements Had Contributed To The Increased Violence In The Region

Kerry, October 2015: "And There's Been A Massive Increase In Settlements Over The Course Of The Last Years. Now You Have This Violence Because There's A Frustration That Is Growing…" KERRY: "So here's the deal. What's happening is that unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody. And there's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there's a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don't see any movement." (John Kerry, Remarks, Cambridge, MA, 10/13/15)

  • The Associated Press 'Matt Lee: Kerry's Remarks About Israeli Settlements Contributing To The Increase In Violence Caused An "Uproar." MATT LEE: "The other - let me go to some of the other things that he mentioned. There's been quite a bit of, I don't know, uproar maybe is the right word about his comments about settlements contributing to - massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years being responsible for the current upsurge in violence. Recognizing that the settlement issue is one that is of serious concern to the Palestinians, is it the Administration's view that settlement activity is, in fact, to blame for or is responsible for the current surge in attacks that we're all seeing?" (John Kirby, State Department Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 10/14/15)

The White House Was Recently Forced To Do Damage Control After A Top Obama Aide Gave A Disparaging Remark Against Netanyahu

In October 2014, The White House Was Forced To Do Damage Control Following A Top Obama Official's Comment "Denigrating" Netanyahu. "The White House defended its commitment to Israel as it sought to tamp down controversy over an anonymous comment attributed to a top Obama administration official denigrating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu lashed out at the comment, contained in an article in The Atlantic magazine. An unidentified senior U.S. official is quoted by columnist Jeffrey Goldberg calling Netanyahu a 'chickensh-t'who's afraid to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or Sunni Arab states." (Amy Teibel, Jonathan Ferziger, and Mike Dorning, "White House Denies Israel Rift As Netanyahu Lashes Back," Bloomberg, 10/29/14)

  • A Senior Obama Official To The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg: "The Thing About Bibi Is, He's A Chickenshit." "The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most. 'The thing about Bibi is, he's a chickenshit,'this official said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, by his nickname." (Jeffrey Goldberg, "The Crisis In U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here," The Atlantic , 10/28/15)

"The Flap Threatened To Worsen Already Tense Relations Between President Barack Obama And Netanyahu…" "The flap threatened to worsen already tense relations between President Barack Obama and Netanyahu, amid a deepening feud with the U.S. over Israeli construction in contested east Jerusalem." (Amy Teibel, Jonathan Ferziger, and Mike Dorning, "White House Denies Israel Rift As Netanyahu Lashes Back," Bloomberg, 10/29/14)

DAYS BEFORE NETANYAHU'S VISIT, CLINTON TRIED TO REWRITE HER FAILED RECORD ON ISRAEL, VOWING TO "REAFFIRM" THE U.S.-ISRAELI BOND

In A New Op-Ed, Clinton Claims To Have "Stood With Israel [Her] Entire Career." " I have stood with Israel my entire career. As a senator, I fought to get Magen David Adom accepted to the International Red Cross when other nations tried to exclude the organization. I wrote and co-sponsored bills that isolated terror groups, and pushed to crack down on incitement in Palestinian textbooks and schools. As secretary of state, I requested more assistance for Israel every year, and supported the lifesaving Iron Dome rocket defense system." (Hillary Clinton, Op-Ed, "How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel-And Benjamin Netanyahu," Forward, 11/4/15)

  • Hillary Clinton: "How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel-And Benjamin Netanyahu" (Hillary Clinton, Op-Ed, "How I Would Reaffirm Unbreakable Bond With Israel-And Benjamin Netanyahu," Forward, 11/4/15)

Clinton Has Bragged About Being The Obama Administration's "Designated Yeller" With Israel

During A 2014 Interview With CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Clinton Bragged About Being The "Designated Yeller" With Israel. CLINTON: "Well, I have to say, I've known be a long time and I have a very good relationship with him, in part because we can yell at each other, and we do. And I was often the designated yeller. Something would happen, a new settlement announcement would come and I would call him up, what are you doing? You've got to stop this. And we understood each other because I know how hard it is to be the leader of a relatively small country that is under constant pressure and does face a lot of legitimate threats to its existence from those around it." ( CNN Interview With Hillary Clinton , 7/27/14)

Clinton Criticized Settlement Activity "With A Fervor That Surprised" Even The Obama Administration That Had Ordered It

While Biden Was Visiting Israel In 2010, The Israeli Interior Ministry Announced The Construction Of 1,600 New Homes In East Jerusalem. "The White House has condemned Israel's approval of 1600 new settler homes in east Jerusalem and says the timing of the move is not helpful with US Vice President Joe Biden in the country. 'The United States condemns the decision today by the government of Israel,'White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday. Gibbs said that neither the substance nor the timing of the announcement was helpful." ("US Condemns Israel Settlements Decision," Agence France Press, 3/10/10)

  • The New Housing Plan In East Jerusalem Was Announced As The Obama Administration Was "Struggling To Restart Direct Negotiations Between The Israelis And Palestinians." "President Obama's criticism of new Israeli housing plans for East Jerusalem, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's even sharper retort, have thrown the Middle East peace talks into jeopardy, with the dispute over Jewish settlements looming as a seemingly insuperable hurdle. The Obama administration is struggling to restart direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, which stalled last month after the expiration of a partial freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to meet Mr. Netanyahu in New York on Thursday, while Egypt sent two top officials to Washington to discuss ways to salvage the process." (Mark Landler and Ethan Bronner, "In Curt Exchange, U.S. Faults Israel On Housing," The New York Times , 11/9/10)

In A Call To Netanyahu, Clinton Said That The Announcement Of New Settlements Was "A Deeply Negative Signal." "Clinton called Netanyahu 'to make clear the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president's trip,'Crowley said. Clinton, he said, emphasized that 'this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America's interests.'" (Glenn Kessler, "Clinton Rebukes Israel Over East Jerusalem Plans, Cites Damage To Bilateral Ties," The Washington Post, 3/13/10)

  • Israeli Ambassador To The U.S. Michael Oren Called The "Public Fight" Over Settlement Construction The Lowest Point In U.S.-Israeli Relations Since The Mid-1970's. "Ambassador Michael Oren told Israeli consuls in the US during a conference that a nearly week-old public fight that broke out during Vice President Joe Biden's visit marks a low point in diplomatic relations since the mid-1970s when the Ford administration reassessed ties with Israel over a disengagement agreement with Egypt and froze arms shipments." (Joshua Mitnick, "US Israel Settlements Fight Marks Lowest Point Since 1970s: Ambassador," The Christian Science Monitor , 3/15/10)
  • It Was "One Of The Worst U.S.-Israeli Feuds In Memory." "A U.S. envoy's postponement of his Mideast trip appeared Tuesday to deepen one of the worst U.S.-Israeli feuds in memory - even as Israel's foreign minister signaled his government had no intention of curtailing the contentious construction at the heart of the row." ("U.S.-Israel Feud Deepens; Envoy Nixes Trip," CBS News, 3/16/10)

Following The White House's Order For Clinton To Demand "Israel Cease The Building Of Jewish Settlements In The West Bank As A Way To Lure The Palestinians Into Talks," Clinton Criticized Israeli Settlement Building "With A Fervor That Surprised Mr. Obama's Adviser's." "Mrs. Clinton's marching orders from the White House were to demand that Israel cease the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a way to lure the Palestinians into talks, and she did so with a fervor that surprised Mr. Obama's advisers. But they had conceived the strategy, and Mrs. Clinton privately had qualms with it, which proved well founded." (Mark Landler and Amy Chozick, "Hillary Clinton Struggles To Define A Legacy In Progress," The New York Times, 4/16/14)

As Secretary, Clinton Accused Israeli Of Having A "Lack Or Generosity" And A "Lack Of Empathy"

Clinton, 2012: "I'm Not Making Excuses For The Missed Opportunities Of The Israelis, Or The Lack Of Generosity, The Lack Of Empathy That I Think Goes Hand-In-Hand With The Suspicion." CLINTON: "So, look, I'm not making excuses for the missed opportunities of the Israelis, or the lack of generosity, the lack of empathy that I think goes hand-in-hand with the suspicion. So, yes, there is more that the Israelis need to do to really demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds, and they want to figure out, within the bounds of security and a Jewish democratic state, what can be accomplished." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Saban Center For Middle East Policy 2012 Saban Forum Opening Gala Dinner , Washington, D.C., 11/30/12)

While Campaigning For The Senate, Clinton Vowed That She Would Be An "Active Advocate" For Recognizing Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel, But She Broke That Promise As Secretary Of State

Clinton, While Campaigning In 1999: "In Whatever Position I Find Myself In The Years To Come, You Can Be Sure That I Will Be An Active, Committed Advocate For A Strong And Secure Israel… With The United States Embassy Located In Its Capital, Jerusalem." "In a letter that became public Thursday, Mrs. Clinton wrote: 'If I am chosen by New Yorkers to be their senator, or in whatever position I find myself in the years to come, you can be sure that I will be an active, committed advocate for a strong and secure Israel, able to live in peace with its neighbors, with the United States Embassy located in its capital, Jerusalem.'" ("First Lady Supports Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel," CNN, 7/9/99)

  • Clinton Said She Considered Jerusalem As The "Eternal And Indivisible Capital Of Israel." "First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton says she considers Jerusalem to be the 'eternal and indivisible capital of Israel'and will be an active advocate -- if elected to New York's Senate seat -- to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem." ("First Lady Supports Jerusalem As Capital Of Israel," CNN, 7/9/99)

Clinton, 2010: The Final Status Of Jerusalem "Is An Issue To Be Settled At The Negotiating Table." CLINTON: "It is our devotion to this outcome - two states for two peoples, secure and at peace - that led us to condemn the announcement of plans for new construction in East Jerusalem. This was not about wounded pride. Nor is it a judgment on the final status of Jerusalem, which is an issue to be settled at the negotiating table. This is about getting to the table, creating and protecting an atmosphere of trust around it - and staying there until the job is finally done." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The 2010 AIPAC Policy Conference, 3/22/10)

In 2010, Clinton "Backtracked" From A Previous Statement That Israel Should Have An " Undivided Jerusalem As Its Capital." "U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backtracked on Friday from her previous pledge that 'Israel's right to exist in safety as a Jewish state, with defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem as its capital, secure from violence and terrorism, must never be questioned.'" (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, "Clinton Sidesteps Her 'United Jerusalem'Pledge," Israel National News, 9/5/10)

  • When Pressed On Her Commitment To Undivided Jerusalem, Clinton Sidestepped The Issue. "Despite her three-year-old promise during her unsuccessful campaign to win the Democratic party nomination to run for president, she did not give a direct answer to a question Friday concerning her stand on the 'undivided capital.'Instead, she responded, 'Jerusalem is a contested emotional issue for both Israelis and Palestinians. I want to support what is the outcome that the parties can agree to. And I think both parties know that they're going to have to engage on this issue and come to an understanding and a resolution so that Jerusalem becomes not a flashpoint but the symbol of peace and cooperation.'" (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, "Clinton Sidesteps Her 'United Jerusalem'Pledge," Israel National News, 9/5/10)

In 2012, Clinton's State Department Spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, Refused To Say Whether Jerusalem Was The Capital Of Israel. QUESTION: "Is it the State Department's position that Jerusalem is not part of Israel?" NULAND: "Well, you know that our position on Jerusalem has not changed. The first Media Note was issued in error without appropriate clearances. We reissued the note to make clear that Under Secretary - Acting Under Secretary for R, Kathy Stephens, will be traveling to Algiers, Doha, Amman, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem. With regard to our Jerusalem policy, it's a permanent status issue; it's got to be resolved through negotiations between the parties." QUESTION: "Is it the view of the United States that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, notwithstanding the question about the Embassy, the location of the U.S. Embassy?" NULAND: "We are not going to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations, including the final status of Jerusalem." QUESTION: "Does that mean that you do not regard Jerusalem as the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "Jerusalem is a permanent status issue; it's got to be resolved through negotiations." … QUESTION: "What is the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is it has to be solved through negotiations. That's all I have to say on this issue." QUESTION: "What is the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "Our Embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv." QUESTION: "So does that mean that you regard Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "The issue on Jerusalem has to be settled through negotiations." (Victoria Nuland, State Department Daily Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/28/12)

  • Nuland On The Capital Of Israel: "Our Policy With Regard To Jerusalem Is It Has To Be Solved Through Negotiations. That's All I Have To Say On This Issue." Q: "What is the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "Our policy with regard to Jerusalem is it has to be solved through negotiations. That's all I have to say on this issue." (Victoria Nuland, State Department Daily Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/28/12)
  • Nuland: "Our Embassy, As You Know, Is Located In Tel Aviv." QUESTION: "What is the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "Our Embassy, as you know, is located in Tel Aviv." QUESTION: "So does that mean that you regard Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel?" NULAND: "The issue on Jerusalem has to be settled through negotiations." (Victoria Nuland, State Department Daily Press Briefing, Washington, D.C., 3/28/12)

Click To Watch

AND IT'S NOT JUST OBAMA AND CLINTON-THE DEMOCRAT PARTY HAS ALSO SEEMED EAGER TO ABANDON ISRAEL

Three Years Ago, Democrats Voted To Amend Their Platform To Restore Language Designating Jerusalem As The Capital Of Israel, Which Had To Be Taken Three Times "Because Of A Chorus Of Noes In The Arena." "President Obama, seeking to quell a storm of criticism from Republicans and pro-Israel groups, directed the Democratic Party on Wednesday to amend its platform to restore language declaring Jerusalem the Israeli capital. The change, approved in a voice vote that had to be taken three times because of a chorus of noes in the arena, reinstated the line 'Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel' in a section that describes Mr. Obama's policy toward the country. That sentence was in the 2008 platform, but the Democrats removed it this year, saying that they wanted to spotlight other elements of Mr. Obama's policy and that the platform should reflect a sitting president rather than a candidate for office." (Mark Landler, "Pushed By Obama, Democrats Alter Platform Over Jerusalem," The New York Times, 9/5/15)

  • "After Passage, Boos Were Heard In The Convention Hall…" "A Wednesday voice on the floor of the Democratic convention put the party in two awkward binds - pitting them against both official U.S. policy and many of their own delegates. The Democrats restored language affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and putting mentions of God back into their platforms in a quick voice vote that the Democratic chair declared had passed. Convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa held three voice votes - two of which failed, before Villaraigosa declared the third passed with a two-third majority. After passage, boos were heard in the convention hall - prompting RNC spokesman Tim Miller to tweet: 'Widespread boos for Jerusalem and God in the convention hall.'" (Byron Tau, "Jerusalem Change Puts DNC At Odds With W.H., Delegates," Politico, 9/5/12)
  • "Those Who Shouted Opposition To The Language Change Were As Loud, If Not Louder, Than Those Who Voiced Their Support." "But when Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagairosa, the convention chairman, came to the podium to ask for the approval of the delegates, those who shouted opposition to the language change were as loud, if not louder, than those who voiced their support." (Jon Ward and Joshua Hersh, "Democrasts Efforts To Reinsert 'God' And 'Jerusalem' Into Platform Met With Loud Opposition," The Huffington Post , 9/5/12)

Click To Watch


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