Thanks Hillary!

The full Hillary Clinton interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic is a must read….Apparently she is also very aware of the threat of Islamic terrorism….I am hopeful that her leadership will be the start of a better way of seeing things in this country. A person of her stature finally able to express her true take on these issues, will have a strong impact internationally as well.

She has single handedly reframed this issue, laying the groundwork for what must be a return back to a hands on global mindfulness. This urgent crisis can no longer be dismissed as the conversation of “right wing nut job xenophobic warmongers”. Her leadership on this says what no one has had the guts to say thus far. This is not an issue of democrats versus republicans, of left versus right.

This is nothing less than an issue of good versus evil, a clash of darkness and light that is spreading worldwide, heading right for us.

We must continue this new substantive conversation, minus the name calling and finger pointing that has gone on for too long. A conversation  about the horrible damage already inflicted by our disengagement from the world, at a time when the world needed our engagement more than ever. A conversation in which we are reminded once again what it means to be an American.

Hillary on the dangers of Islamic Fundamentalism:

“One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States,” she said. “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.”

Hillary on the politics of Inaction:

“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,”

Hillary on the war in Gaza :

When I asked her about the intense international focus on Gaza, she was quick to identify anti-Semitism as an important motivating factor in criticism of Israel. “It is striking … that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. … You have Russia massing battalions—Russia, that actually annexed and is occupying part of a UN member-state—and I fear that it will do even more to prevent the incremental success of the Ukrainian government to take back its own territory, other than Crimea. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine on both sides, not counting the [Malaysia Airlines] plane, and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.”

Hillary on the rampant antisemitism we are seeing today.

She went on, “You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what’s going on in Europe today. There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. So there’s something else at work here than what you see on TV.” Clinton also blamed Hamas for “stage-managing” the conflict. “What you see is largely what Hamas invites and permits Western journalists to report on from Gaza. It’s the old PR problem that Israel has. Yes, there are substantive, deep levels of antagonism or anti-Semitism towards Israel, because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military. And Hamas paints itself as the defender of the rights of thePalestinians to have their own state. So the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel.”

Hillary on Prime minister Netanyahu, and the impossibility of a conversation about a two state solution given the current realities on the ground:

Clinton also seemed to take an indirect shot at administration critics of Netanyahu, who has argued that the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East means that Israel cannot, in the foreseeable future, withdraw its forces from much of the West Bank. “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security, because even if I’m dealing with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, who is 79 years old, and other members of Fatah, who are enjoying a better lifestyle and making money on all kinds of things, that does not protect Israel from the influx of Hamas or cross-border attacks from anywhere else. With Syria and Iraq, it is all one big threat. So Netanyahu could not do this in good conscience.”


Its heartbreaking how many times in the last few years people rose up bravely in the name of freedom sending out an SOS to the world that went unheeded. A country that was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty for all has become a country that is only interested in freedom for ourselves.

The irony is amazing. The voices calling for more compassion, more welfare, more assistance, stop abruptly short when it came to the welfare of others. A society that promotes a culture of goodness at home – “for us” while assuming a myopic view of the welfare of the rest of the world is a society in need of a major healing, and a wholesale abandonment of who we are. When the world needed our moral leadership, perhaps more than ever in modern history, we looked the other way.

First on a religious level. We will go down in history as the only superpower Judeo Christian society that turned a blind eye to the ongoing, systematic worldwide persecution of Christians, particularly in Muslim countries, presiding over an unprecedented squandering of moral authority.

I’m embarrassed that we in the Jewish community who should have understand this more than anyone, turned our backs as well.

When the leaders of the Green movement in Iran sent us an eight page memo begging for our help we looked the other way. We looked the other way when the Egyptian brotherhood began arresting peaceful dissenters, and rewarded them instead with 1.3 billion dollars of our tax money. No humanitarian strings attached.

We looked the other way when the more moderate rebels fighting the cruelty of Bashar Assad, begged us for assistance.

While The President deserves the credit for finally acting in Iraq against ISIS, and must have our full support, it is Hillary who has inspired the country to begin the process of reclaiming our collective national conscience.

Is this a new Hillary? Truth is, it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t jive entirely with her past.

I’ll take it.

Thanks Hillary For inspiring our country.

Thanks Hillary for reminding us that we can never again surrender our countries soul.

Thanks Hillary for wiping off the moral fog on our national window, providing a clearer view of whats happening out there.

Thanks Hillary for reminding us that we can no longer look the other way.

Rabbi Yossi

About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Lipsker is the co-founder and executive Director of Chabad of the North Shore and spiritual leader of the Chabad Community Shul. He can be reached at