Hillary Clinton delivered a speech before AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, in which she managed to slam not only Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, but also her former boss, President Barack Obama.
First, she criticized Trump for declaring himself “neutral” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She gave the soundbite of her speech when she said that “Israel’s security is non-negotiable.” He suggested that Trump is somewhat changeable where it comes to Israel and not, as she put it, “steady.”.
Second, she offered a dig at Obama when she said, “"one of the first things I'll do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister to visit the White House.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been treated rather coldly by President Obama. Clinton also offered a dim view on the Iran nuclear weapons deal, something that the current president regards as part of his legacy and that Israel views as a threat to its very existence.
Clinton’s words were well received, but constituted a departure from the decidedly anti-Israel policy that she helped to oversee as Obama’s secretary of state. The Obama Middle East policy has not been so much “neutral” as tilted toward Israel’s Arab and Iranian enemies. Obama has especially allowed an apparently personal animus toward Netanyahu to color his policy, treating the Israeli statesman with disrespect
The Obama Clinton overall Middle East policy has been a disaster, as anyone who notes the current state of Libya as well as Iraq and Syria can attest to. Her speech casting herself as Israel’s friend was brazen, to say the least..
Clinton will have to separate herself from Obama to an even greater degree if she thinks she can carry the act off. The gambit will likely open herself to accusations of flip flopping at best, prevarication at worst.
The former secretary of state is going to have to repudiate the very policies that she helped to create if she hopes to get much of the Jewish vote, even considering that American Jews tend to be pro-Democratic for reasons that have little to do with Middle Eastern policy.