The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed criticism and concern that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a recent interview on a Palestinian Authority (PA) TV teen show, accepted the false premise of her teenage interviewer that Palestinians live under Israeli occupation without freedom and liberty, thereby helping to legitimize a false basis of Palestinian incitement to hate Israel.
In her interview this week, Secretary Clinton was asked, what would you do if your daughter was unfortunate enough to have been born under occupation, born deprived of freedom and liberty? Secretary Clinton legitimized the questions false premise and actually helped incite hatred against Israel by not refuting it and ignoring the fact that 98 percent of Palestinians actually live under the PA or Hamas, not Israeli control. Instead, Clinton responded, Well, I would do what so many parents here in the West Bank and in Gaza do. I would love her
I would get the best education I could for her
I would never give up on the dream of a Palestinian State. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interview Ali-Soutak, Palestinian teen show, PA TV, March 8, 2009, Palestinian Media Watch, 2009).
That an alarming number of Palestinian parents have encouraged their children to become suicide bombers was somehow lost from Secretary Clintons response and the fact that the PA under Arafat rejected accepting establishing a Palestinian state offered by President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000. Instead the PA launched a terror war. She also ignored the fact that the Jewish people have a stronger religious, historical and legal right to the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria.
Previously, as the U.S. Senator from New York (2002-2009), Hilary Clinton was strongly vocal about the need to put an end to the culture of Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled TV and radio, mosques, schools and youth camps and emphatic that without this ending, genuine peace could not be achieved.
Some previous statements by Hillary Clinton on Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder:
· October 2003: How can you think about building a better future, no matter what your political views, if you indoctrinate your children to a culture of death? Clinton said she supports conditioning aid to the PA on a cessation of propaganda and hateful rhetoric in textbooks and the media, and that she has written to US President George W. Bush urging him to demand an end to official Palestinian anti-Semitism and the promotion of terrorism as a pre-condition to resuming Middle East peace talks
It is clear that the Palestinian Authority, as we see on PATV, is complicit in terrorist attacks, she said. This is not Hamas [running the television station]. This is the Palestinian Authority. (Melissa Radler, Sen. Clinton blasts PA for teaching children hate, Jerusalem Post, October 31, 2003).
· February 2007:
we must stop the propaganda to which Palestinian children are being exposed. That must be a priority for all people who care about children, who care about the kind of peace, stability, safety and security that Israel deserves to be guaranteed
I have been speaking out against the incitement of hate and violence in Palestinian textbooks for years. In 2000 I joined Nobel peace prize winner Elie Wiesel in New York to denounce the lessons of hatred and violence that are part of the curricula in Palestinian schools. I wrote, with my colleague Senator Schumer, a letter to President Bush, urging his Administration to do everything in its power to persuade the Palestinians to reverse their hateful rhetoric and embrace the opportunity to move toward a strong and lasting peace in the region
these children deserves [sic] an education that instills respect for life and peace instead of glorifying death and violence
This propaganda is dangerous. You know, words really matter … Because in idealizing for children a world without Israel, children are taught never to accept the reality of the State of Israel, never to strive for a better future that would hold out the promise of peace and security to them … This has dire consequences for prospects of peace for generations to come
I believe education is one of the keys to lasting peace and security in the Middle East and the greater region
We cannot build a peaceful, stable, safe future on such a hate-filled violent and radical foundation. In the years since, I and others – who have been doing it long before I did in 2000 raised this issue, there has still not been an adequate repudiation of this by the Palestinian Authority
And I worry about the chance for peace when the next generation is learning that fighting Israel is a glorious, religious battle for Islam. (Hillary Clinton’s full statement introducing PMW’s report on Palestinian schoolbook, US Senate Building, February 8, 2007, Palestinian Media Watch, February 8, 2007).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, We are concerned and deeply disappointed that Secretary Clinton has uttered not a word about the issue of incitement to hatred and murder she herself once emphasized was a priority and indeed the key to bringing about an Arab-Israeli peace an end to incitement to hatred and murder in Palestinian society. I myself heard her speak eloquently against Palestinian incitement in October 2003 when I personally testified before a Senate committee on the subject. As her own past words show, Secretary Clinton once recognized the problem, claimed to take it seriously and did not exclude the PA from the ambit of her criticism. Today however, she makes no mention of it.
In this PA TV interview, Secretary Clinton had a real opportunity to confront the vital issue of incitement to hatred against Israel with a huge Palestinian audience. This could have been an excellent and rare opportunity to place the issue she once claimed was paramount on the international agenda by speaking directly to the next generation of Palestinians. Instead, not only did Secretary Clinton fail to confront the issue, but she actually became an accessory in the PAs relentless promotion of hate propaganda against Israel.
In her confirmation hearings, Secretary Clinton did not mention even once Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder, even though on that occasion she discussed the Israeli/Palestinian issue at length. Nor did the issue appear anywhere on her agenda during her Middle East trip. Instead, her agenda consisted of ignoring this issue she once described as paramount, while pressuring Israel to prevent Jews from moving to and building in the eastern part of Jerusalem, Israels religious, historical and political capital; criticizing Israel over not opening border crossings to Hamas-controlled Gaza; and supporting unprecedented levels of American taxpayer-funded aid ($900 million) for the PA and Gaza.
It is morally and practically wrong to ignore the vital issue of Palestinian incitement to hatred and murder, which must end before there can be a genuine peace process, and claim to be seeking peace. It is wrong not to hold the PA accountable for continuing incitement. We should be withholding aid to the PA until it tackles this issue, not rewarding it with ever larger taxpayer-funded largesse, as Secretary Clinton once proposed herself. If Secretary Clinton is truly interested in bringing about peace, her neglect of Palestinian incitement will doom her efforts.