Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP/David Goldman) (AP/David Goldman)
Hillary Clinton

In letter to American Jewish organizations, democratic US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton decried the anti-Israel BDS movement, adding that she was seeking legislative action to fight the movement. 

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement received a powerful blow on Monday with the release of a letter penned by Hillary Clinton, one of the strongest political figures in the US, stating her firm opposition to the anti-Israel initiative and an interest in combating it.

Clinton, who served as secretary of state to President Barack Obama before John Kerry, stated in a letter to American Jewish organizations that she opposes BDS and called for legislative action to support Israel.

The Democratic presidential front-runner expressed “alarm” over the movement’s efforts to isolate Israel and her conviction that countering BDS must become a priority.

The letter, dated July 2, sought advice on how “we can work together…to reverse this trend with information and advocacy” and to “fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”

“As you know, BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. That is not the path to peace,” Clinton asserted.

Clinton restated her support for a two-state solution but stressed “that outcome can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians — it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions.”

She also rejected attempts to equate Israel with apartheid South Africa. “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,” she stated.

In the letter, Clinton also recounts her previous support for Israel as a senator and secretary of state, saying that she opposed “dozens of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN…and other international organizations.”

“Time after time I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel — and that’s what I’ll always do as president,” she declared.

The BDS movement has recently gained strength on US college campuses and in Europe. The Israeli government and many Jewish leaders have exposed the movement as anti-Semitic.

“Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival,” Clinton wrote.

In conclusion, she calls Israel a “modern day miracle — a vibrant bloom in the middle of a desert.”

The letter was reportedly addressed to each of the Jewish leaders under the umbrella of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and to Haim Saban, an Israeli-born US media mogul and top Clinton donor who hosted the candidate at a Los Angeles fundraiser in May.

Clinton told Jewish supporters over the weekend that she would be a better friend to Israel than Obama.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
AP contributed to this report.