This Economist review of HRC, a favorable new biography of Hillary Clinton by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, says the superficial account doesn’t tell us much about the opaque former secretary of state’s ideas about foreign policy. But she sure likes Israel– 110 percent behind it, during the Gaza operation Pillar of Cloud in November 2012. That incursion killed 167 Palestinians, about 100 of them civilians.
And she has a better relationship with Israel than Obama has (Cha-ching) and seems to have been holding Netanyahu’s hand during the incursion:
An account of crisis meetings in 2012 with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, amid Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and talk of a full-scale Israeli counter-attack, notes that Mrs Clinton and aides “noshed on fruit and cookies” and that Mrs Clinton was worried about getting home to spend Thanksgiving with her family. There is higher-calibre gossip. Before Mrs Clinton flew to Israel, the same account explains, Mr Obama used a chat aboard Air Force One to ask his secretary of state to stay on an extra year, but was turned down.
What is missing is information that will still matter in even a few years’ time. True, loose-lipped staffers tell the authors how, as the Gaza crisis unfolded, Mrs Clinton told colleagues: “We’ve gotta support Israel one hundred and ten per cent here.” The authors briskly assert that Mrs Clinton had a good relationship with the Israelis; “certainly better than Obama had”. But this gap between president and secretary of state is not explored any further.
The book is equally at a loss when it comes to Mrs Clinton’s thinking on Afghanistan, and whether she really believed that a comprehensive settlement there, involving the Taliban, Pakistan, the Afghan government and America, was possible, as her own pugnacious envoy Richard Holbrooke insisted. “There is disagreement to this day” about her views, the authors sigh.
Thanks to Rusty Pipes.
Update: Original post said that Hillary was supporting Israel during Cast Lead, in 2008-2009, when 700 civilians were killed. She certainly was doing that but the quote refers to the 2012 operation. Apologies. Thanks to Alex Kane for correction.