Mona Charen

In the last several weeks, I've heard people confidently declare that the 70 percent of Jewish Americans who voted for Obama are finally sorry. I'm skeptical, but even if they are, they're probably telling themselves that Hillary Clinton would be a better friend to the Jewish state than the current president.

They have short memories. Remember the way first lady Hillary Clinton sat mute while Suha Arafat accused Israelis of poisoning children? She then embraced Arafat and kissed her on both cheeks.

Clinton learned to mouth the right words when seeking a Senate sinecure from the (heavily Jewish) state of New York, and later the presidency. But her recent book and interviews suggest that her sympathies are by no means clear, and her judgment is worse.

She refers in her book to the relative birth rates in Israel and the Palestinian territories and concludes that "we [are] approaching the day when Palestinians would make up a majority of the combined population of Israel and the Palestinian territories, and most of those Palestinians would be relegated to second class citizenship and unable to vote." This is an old canard, echoed by John Kerry. The demographics are almost certainly wrong (Israel's population growth has been steady, while the Palestinians' has been falling), but the politics are pernicious. Israel's Arab citizens have full rights. They vote, own property, comment in the newspapers, and serve in the Knesset and on the Supreme Court. Some even fight in the IDF. One of the heroes of the current conflict is Colonel Ghassan Alian, a Druze.

Palestinians, who are not citizens of Israel, vote for their own leadership ... at least once. If they don't vote more frequently, it's because they have a corrupt political culture. If they'd abandon their ambition to wipe Israel off the map, they'd have an independent state -- though whether it would be democratic is another matter. Israel is currently the only country in which Arabs regularly cast free votes.

What of Clinton's judgment? Charlie Rose interviewed her a week or so ago and demanded to know whether the administration "had done enough to prevent an invasion of Gaza." Clinton never challenged the premise. A friend of Israel (or any fair-minded person) might have said, "The better question is: Have we done enough to defend the Middle East's lone island of democracy and pluralism from the ceaseless terror attacks and rocketing by anti-Semitic, Islamist fanatics?"


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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