Hillary’s Right-Wing Delusions

Ari Yashar, writing in Arutz Sheva, tells us this:

hillary1Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has some biting words for President Barack Obama in her new memoir, saying his push for a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria was a mistake.


Speaking about the 2009 building freeze that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu submitted to, Clinton wrote “in retrospect, our early, hard line on settlements didn’t work.” The book, entitled “Hard Choices,” was received by AP ahead of its release on Tuesday.


Clinton added that the pressure to freeze building exerted by the Obama administration was “one mistake of many” by the US, Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the talks.


According to her, the freeze made PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s position more entrenched, and led him to reject the talks, demanding an official freeze in eastern Jerusalem as well.

So, when did Hillary Clinton become a hard-line, right-wing conservative?

I was making almost precisely that argument 5 years ago, as it was happening, but was suddenly and eerily dismissed as one of those conservative bad people from the other side of the tracks.

This is what I published on December 17, 2009, in a piece entitled, The End of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process:

Obama’s big mistake, if he was hoping to actually bring about peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, was calling for a total settlement freeze in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The demand for total settlement freeze, even within blocs that would likely end up as part of Israel, has resulted in a number of negative consequences that undermine even the slim possibility of a negotiated settlement.


The first negative consequence is that by calling for a total settlement freeze, Obama placed a precondition on negotiations at a time when he should have avoided any move that might decrease the likelihood of the two sides sitting down at the negotiating table. When Obama called for total freeze, Abbas took it as an opportunity to avoid negotiations and insisted that the Palestinians would never sit down with the Israelis until Israel met that demand.

The biggest recent mistake that the diaspora Jewish community has made was in throwing people such as Yosef and Melody to the wolves, not to mention the Fogels.  Because almost all of us believed in the two-state solution as the only viable solution, and because the Arabs complained about a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, we agreed that what we called “settlement activity” in the “West Bank” had to end.

I certainly thought so all the way through the Oslo process until quite recently.

One of the main differences, I suppose, between myself and other western-left diaspora Jews on this issue, is that I have come to the conclusion that we are essentially playing a rigged game.  What the Jewish people in the Middle East want more than anything is to simply be left the hell alone to create their computer software and to litigate against one another.

The Arabs, however, since the time of that Muhammad Guy, have been hell-bent-for-fury in opposition to Jewish sovereignty.  They opposed Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land in the seventh century, just as they oppose Jewish sovereignty on Jewish land today.  Nothing much has changed, really.  The great Arab majority despised the tiny Jewish minority for theocratic reasons in the seventh century, just as they do so today for precisely those same reasons.

The conclusion that I have been forced to come to in recent years is that the Jews of the Middle East are incapable of making peace with the Arab world, because that is simply not what the greater Arab world, or certainly their governments, want.  It does not matter what Israel does or does not do.  It does not matter if Yosef and Melody are kicked out of their homes in Hebron and forced to move into Fortress Israel, within the Green Line, in order to appease Arab-Muslim and western-left prejudices against Jews.

This being the case, it is detrimental to the Jewish people to continue to buy into the Oslo line that peace can be achieved with sufficient Jewish concessions to the hostile majority population.  I know that many would suggest that the majority Arab-Muslim population in the Middle East is only hostile to Israel because Israel is allegedly oppressing the local Arabs.

I would refer those people to Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed, Yale University Press, 2010, pg. 8:

At the time of the Muslim occupation of Palestine in the seventh century, the country’s Jewish population ranged in the hundreds of thousands at the very least; by the 1880s, Palestine’s Jewish community had been reduced to about 24,000, or some 5 percent of the total population.

So, just where are those magically disappearing Jews in the Middle East?  Were they swept away by typhoons?

I do not bloody think so.

The fact of the matter is that the Arabs suppressed the Jewish minority in the Middle East for thirteen long centuries, thus resulting in the near genocide of the indigenous Jewish population.  In some times and places it was better and in some times and places it was worse, but do we honestly believe that dhimmitude was better than African-Americans had it under Jim Crow in the United States?

Peace between Israel and the Arabs will not come through Israeli concessions.

I do not believe it because history has proven it not to be so and I therefore urge unilateral action.

I am very much looking forward to the new generation of Israeli leadership – left, right, or center – if only to move beyond the failed Age of Oslo.

From the comments:

David Modlin June 7 at 12:55pm


Looks like Hillary has started campaigning.

Well, that much is obvious.

ron shapiro June 7 at 8:53pm


And while we are on the hunt for Jewish money to run a Presidential campaign, why not also advocate the elimination of the $500 million of annual aid to the PA. Question. Hillary, “Why did you embrace Suha Arafat”?

I like the way that this gentleman thinks.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives and a regular contributor to Jews Down Under and the Elder of Ziyon.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at