WASHINGTON, D.C.-I am watching the doings of the AIPAC policy conference from afar, since they did not see fit to credential me to cover their annual hootenanny, but I understand that the vice-president came on and he may have harshed a few mellows on Monday morning. He praised the nuclear deal with Iran, said that Israel may not get everything it wants in the next military aid package but that it will get what it needs, condemned the Palestinian president for "staying silent" in the face of terrorism, and said the following about the continuing crisis caused by the settlements in the disputed areas.
"To be frank, the Israeli government's steady process of expanding settlements and expropriating land is eroding the possibility of a two-state solution. Bibi [Netanyahu] believes he can accommodate it. I believe that he believes it. I don't. Because trends on the ground are moving toward a one-state solution, and I feel that's dangerous."
(It should be noted that, in his keynote address, AIPAC president Howard Kohr conceded defeat on the Iran deal and also called for a two-state solution to be hammered out with the Palestinians.)
For her part, Hillary Rodham Clinton-who, alas, has more fcks to give than an outgoing VP has- used her address to the conference to bash He, Trump for the latter's alleged squishiness on U.S.-Israel relations. (Bernie Sanders, the only Jewish candidate in the race, blew off the conference entirely.) First, though, she waltzed along the thin edge of criticizing the current president for not meeting with Netanyahu when the Republicans in Congress invited the Israeli leader to speak to them for the purposes of undermining the president's foreign policy initiative with Iran.
One of the first things I'll do in office is invite the Israeli prime minister 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.
And she pushed all the right buttons about the movement on various campuses to force divestment over the settlements and the treatment of Palestinians.
Many of the young people here today are on the front lines of the battle to oppose the alarming boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as BDS. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. 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.
But the rest of her speech was an intriguing attack on He, Trump, in which HRC painted him as an inexperienced hip-shooter whose support for Israel is as vague and unformed as most of the rest of his platform.
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. I have sat in Israeli hospital rooms holding the hands of men and women whose bodies and lives were torn apart by terrorist bombs. I've listened to doctors describe the shrapnel left in a leg, an arm or even a head. That's why I feel so strongly that America can't ever be neutral when it comes to Israel's security or survival. We can't be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. Some things aren't negotiable. And anyone who doesn't understand that has no business being our president.
She managed one line about the settlements, and that in the context of how "everyone" should do their part in "avoiding damaging actions," and she did come out for a two-state solution on the question of Israel and Palestine, although in the context of how hard that settlement is to achieve. It was as remarkably hawkish an address as HRC has delivered during this campaign, and it was an indication that pivoting toward the general election and pivoting toward "the middle" are not necessarily the same things. It also was an indication of how tough she's going to be on He, Trump if the two wind up running against each other.