“As you know, BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict,” Clinton wrote to the wealthy campaign donors.
Boycotts, divestment and sanctions — or the BDS Movement — is a global campaign against Israeli war crimes that calls for the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, equality for Arab citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The presidential hopeful wrote that countering these protests needs to be made a “priority.”
“I am also very concerned by attempts to compare Israel to South African apartheid. Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world — especially in Europe — we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people,” the former US Secretary of State wrote.
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) July 6, 2015
“After all, it was only six months ago that four Jews were targeted and killed in a Kosher supermarket in Paris as they did their Sabbath shopping,” Clinton concluded the letter.
In 2014, more Palestinian civilians were killed than any other year since the Six-Day War in 1967, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, which reported that last year 2,314 Palestinians were killed and 17,125 were injured. In contrast, 12 Israelis were killed by Palestinians.
Clinton’s closest rival for the Democratic presidential ticket, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, had been reluctant to criticise the US ally, but in March he boycotted a speech given by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before the US Congress, and has stated that he is “not a great fan” of his.
“Clearly the goals are two-fold: number one the Palestinian people, in my view, deserve a state of their own, they deserve an economy of their own, they deserve economic support from the people of this country. And Israel needs to be able to live in security without terrorist attacks. Those are the goals of I think any sensible foreign policy in that region,” Sanders told NPR in June.
The letter from Clinton was addressed to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, as well as to one of her campaign’s top donors, Israeli-born Haim Saban, who has contributed at least $2 million to her campaign super PACs in recent months.