By Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn
Hillary Clinton is hoping for a “new tone” in the U.S.-Israel relationship, one Jewish leader recently claimed. But in the meantime, Israel is stuck dealing with the deadly consequences of her policies as secretary of state.
Russia this week announced its intention to provide Iran with the S-300 advanced missile system. Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly justified his action on the grounds that the missile system is for defensive purposes.
In this case, however, “defensive” means that it could be used to “defend” Iran’s nuclear weapons factories from an attack by Israel or the United States.
Remember when then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she was initiating a “reset” on America’s relations with Russia? Supposedly now that Obama and Clinton were in office, a new era of warmth and friendship would descend on relations between Washington and Kremlin. Gone were the days when the United States would be confrontational; a softer, gentler approach would be reciprocated by the Russians.
Instead, American softness encouraged Russian belligerency. Hillary has washed her hands of the whole mess and is busy on the campaign trail. And Israel is stuck dealing with the consequences of Putin arming Iran.
Meanwhile, the Times of Israel reported on December 19 that cement which Israel was permitting to enter Gaza, ostensibly to build homes, is being diverted to build tunnels for terror attacks. And the London Sunday Telegraph reported on April 4 that Iran is sending “tens of millions dollars” to Hamas “to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza destroyed by Israel’s invasion last year.”
Haven’t we seen this movie before? And it didn’t it star Hillary Clinton?
Last summer, former U.S. envoy Dennis Ross wrote in the Washington Post (Aug.20) that in 2010, Secretary of State Clinton sent him to press Israel to ease up on its blockade of Gaza, in the aftermath of Israel’s withdrawal from that region in 2005. “I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross revealed. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”
In response to Secretary Clinton’s request, Israel allowed the cement into Gaza. But it wasn’t used for houses, after all. The 2014 Gaza war revealed that Hamas used the cement to construct dozens of tunnels, which were used to carry out numerous terrorist attacks against Israel.
And now they are rebuilding the tunnels. Once again, Israel is stuck dealing with the deadly consequences of Secretary Clinton’s irresponsible actions.
Finally, there is the enormous threat that almost nobody ever talks about: the approximately 100,000 rockets that Hezbollah has stationed in southern Lebanon, pointed at Israel.
Those rockets were supplied by Syria, or in some cases supplies by Iran with the assistance of Syria.
On March 27, 2011, Secretary Clinton said this on ‘Face the Nation’ concerning Syrian dictator Bashar Assad: “There’s a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”
Clinton was trying both to promote the idea that Assad is a “reformer,” and to claim that there was a bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill in favor of that view. The Washington Post checked the statements made by all the Congressmembers who had visited Syria recently. It found that not a single Republican, and only a few Democrats, had praised Assad as “a reformer” or anything resembling that characterization. The Post awarded Secretary Clinton three “Pinocchios” for her false assertion.
The Clinton statement about Assad was part of a new Obama administration policy to embrace, rather than confront, Damascus. One result was that missiles continued to flow from Syria to Hezbollah, and to this day pose an ever-growing danger to Israel–even if nobody is talking about it very much.
“Reset buttons” and “housing materials” and “reformers” all sound great–on paper. They might work well as sound-bites in an interview or on a bumper sticker in an election campaign. But Israelis understand that the real-life consequences of Hillary’s actions–the Russia-Iran axis, the Hamas terror tunnels, and Hezbollah’s enormous arsenal of rockets – are matters of life and death.
[Moshe Phillips is president and Benyamin Korn is chairman of the Religious Zionists of Philadelphia, and both are current candidates on the Religious Zionist slate (www.VoteTorah.org) in the World Zionist Congress elections.]