05:37 GMT07 March 2021
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    In a recent article published in the Times of Israel, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton used an analogy of the Passover story to reassure Israel of her support, echoing Netanyahu’s calls to counter the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

    Citing the ancient story of how the Jews gained their freedom from slavery in Egypt, Clinton compared BDS with the "Pharaoh" who "denied the Israelites the right to worship as they chose."

    "International efforts to malign and isolate the Jewish people — like the alarming ‘BDS' movement — are gaining steam," the former Secretary of State wrote two days prior to the crucial New York Democratic primary.

    Brant Rosen, co-chair of the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Rabbinical Council, criticized Clinton's passage, referring to her analogy as "cynical."

    "It feels more than a little galling to be given such a politically cynical Torah lesson by a candidate running for the highest office of the world's largest superpower," Rosen told AlterNet, "I'd say she's got her Pharaoh all wrong: America and Israel are the overwhelmingly more powerful and oppressive parties in this equation."

    Lynn Gottlieb, a JVP rabbinical council member and the first woman rabbi in the Jewish Renewal movement, also condemned Clinton's rhetoric, adding that the BDS human rights movement, countering what she termed Israeli Apartheid is, "a series of nonviolent tactics that target state policies and corporations that are profiting from harming other human beings through massive land theft, denial of freedom of movement, and many other violations of human rights that Clinton knows very well."

    Clinton is accused of cynically invoking stories in the Torah as a method of tightening the bond with Israel's right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    "So that they would never again be subjugated, the Jewish people arrive to their own homeland," the article reads. "I've proudly stood with the State of Israel for my entire career, making sure it always has the resources it needs to maintain its qualitative military edge. I also worked to ensure funding for the Iron Dome missile defense system and saw its effectiveness first-hand when I worked with Prime Minister Netanyahu to negotiate a cease-fire in Gaza."

    Samantha Brotman, a Jewish-American who organizes in solidarity with Palestinians, told AlterNet that using the Passover story as an election tactic "is crass and heavy-handed," adding that blind support for Israel and "indifference towards Palestinian lives" by US presidential candidates is "alarming."

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    Tags:
    Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Hillary Clinton, Palestine, Israel, US
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