In a letter Monday to entertainment mogul Haim Saban, Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton expressed her “alarm” over attempts to boycott Israel, bother commercially and academically. It was the first clear statement by Clinton on the BDS phenomenon.
In her letter to Saban, Clinton wrote that she was seeking Saban's “advice on how we can work together – across party lines and with a diverse array of voices – to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
It's not clear to whom Clinton is referring when she mentions “a diverse array of voices,” as Saban is known to be a strong supporter of her's, as well as of President Barack H. Obama and other Democrats.
BDS, said Clinton, “seeks to punish Israel and dictate how Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace,” she wrote, adding that “Israel's long-term security and future depend on having two states for two peoples. But that outcome can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians – it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions.”
Clinton said that she would marshal elected representatives, heads of business, and community leaders for ideas on how to fight BDS. “We need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians.”
As Secretary of State, an office she held during Obama's first term as president, Clinton said she had opposed “dozens of anti-Israel resolutions” in international forums. “I opposed the biased Goldstone Report. Making it clear that Israel must be allowed to defend itself like any other country. And I made sure the United States blocked Palestinian attempts at the UN to unilaterally declare statehood.” All that would continue if she became president, said Clinton. “I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel – and that's what I'll always do as President.”