Earlier today, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, spoke to the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. In her remarks, Clinton emphasized the need for a steady-hand in dealing with our allies and adversaries in the global community. She underscored the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, and her plan for keeping the two nations’ ties inseparable and taking the relationship to the next level.
This relationship has always been stronger and deeper than the headlines might lead you to believe. Our work together to develop the Iron Dome saved many Israeli lives when Hamas rockets began to fly. I saw its effectiveness first-hand in 2012 when I worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu to negotiate a ceasefire in Gaza.
And if I’m fortunate enough to be elected President, the United States will reaffirm we have a strong and enduring national interest in Israel’s security.
And we will never allow Israel’s adversaries to think a wedge can be driven between us. When we have differences, as any friends do, we will work to resolve them quickly and respectfully.
Clinton described specific moves she would make to strengthen and expand security cooperation and economic engagement between the United States and Israel:
I will make a firm commitment to ensure Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.
The United States should provide Israel with the most sophisticated defense technology so it can deter and stop any threat. That includes bolstering Israeli missile defenses with new systems like the Arrow 3 and David’s Sling. And we should work together to develop better tunnel detection technology to prevent arms smuggling, kidnapping, and terrorist attacks.
One of the first things I’ll do in office is invite the Israeli Prime Minster to visit the White House—
And I will send a delegation from the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs to Israel for early consultations.
Let’s also expand our collaboration beyond security. Together we can build an even more vibrant culture of innovation that tightens the links between Silicon Valley and Israeli tech companies and entrepreneurs. There is much Americans can learn from Israel, from cyber security to energy security to water security – and just on an everyday people-to-people level. And it's especially important to continue fostering relationships between American and Israeli young people who may not always remember our shared past. They are the future of our relationship and we have to do more to promote that.
She also highlighted the importance for defending Israel from those who try to delegitimize it:
I’ve been sounding the alarm for a while now. As I wrote last year in a letter to the heads of major Jewish American organizations, we have to be united in fighting back against BDS. Many of its proponents have demonized Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students. To all the college students who may have encountered this on campus, I hope you stay strong. Keep speaking out. Don’t let anyone silence you, bully you, or try to shut down debate, especially in places of learning like colleges and universities.
Clinton implicitly mentioned the currently offensive campaign of Republican front-runner Donald Trump, and the abrasive foreign policy options he has mentioned. While Donald Trump boasts himself as a great negotiator, Clinton proclaimed that “Israel’s security is non-negotiable:
Tonight, you’ll hear from candidates with very different visions of American leadership in the region and around the world. You’ll get a glimpse of a potential U.S. foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them, and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them. For the security of Israel and the world, we need America to remain a respected global leader committed to defending and advancing the international order — an America able to block efforts to isolate or attack Israel. The alternative is unthinkable.
Yes, 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 non-negotiable.
To read Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s remarks in full, click here.