Dan Gilmore / Mar. 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton Panders to Pro-Israel Lobby

Clinton's trying to position herself as the more anchored candidate.

In a speech Monday, Hillary Clinton tried to capitalize on Donald Trump’s very public waffling on his policies toward Israel. The GOP frontrunner first said that he’d remain “neutral” in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a position he quickly revised in a speech before the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Clinton responded by coming out with more support for Israel, trying to position herself as the more anchored candidate. She told AIPAC that she has an “unwavering, unshakable commitment to our alliance and to Israel’s future as a secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people.”

It’s an odd day in politics when the Democrat frontrunner is trying to position herself as the more stalwart defender of Israel, a position that isn’t as stalwart as Clinton would like AIPAC to believe. Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh asked about Clinton’s track record with Israel relations, “How in the world can you support the Iranian nuke deal and be pro-Israel? That’s the question.”

Indeed, while Clinton applauds the deal, Israel considers Iran, not the Islamic State, to be its foremost security threat. Clinton described herself as the “designated yeller” at Israel when she was secretary of state. When Israel did something that the Obama administration didn’t like, she was the one to get on the phone and give the Israeli government a dress down.

But Clinton said Monday, “We need steady hands — not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable. Well, my friends, Israel’s security is nonnegotiable.” By the way Clinton describes it, we need a candidate in the White House whose hands wobbles every couple months — maybe a position that changes depending on who she’s talking to.

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