I just saw this on Hardball. Bill Kristol’s group the Emergency Committee for Israel has a new attack ad out against Hillary Clinton. It’s to air on the ABC network tonight during an interview with the former secretary of State.
The ad scores Hillary Clinton for not condemning John Kerry’s comment that Israel could become an apartheid state. Here’s my transcript of the ad:
When secretary of state John Kerry said Israel could become “an apartheid state,” America’s most prominent Jewish groups condemned Kerry, but not Hillary Clinton. Democratic Party organizations called on Kerry to apologize, but not Hillary Clinton. Democratic Senators and congressman criticized Kerry, but not Hillary Clinton. When John Kerry slandered Israel, Democrats spoke out. So why not Hillary Clinton?
The ad is false inasmuch as Hillary Clinton is more pro-Israel than Obama and Kerry. What I found distasteful is that Matthews and his guest David Corn landed on the Emergency Committee by vigorously defending Israel, and characterizing the apartheid charge as a slander. No video yet, but Matthews used that word. The two said the charge isn’t even germane till the Palestinian population between the river and the sea is larger than the Jewish population– not till 2020, Matthews projected.
But apartheid’s criminal definition has nothing to do with a minority ruling over a majority; it’s defined as a system of legalized racial/ethnic privilege characterized by persecution or other inhumane practices. Right now it’s “apartheid on steroids” in the West Bank, according to The Nation, the magazine Corn used to work for. Palestinian political leader Mustafa Barghouthi says it’s “full-fledged apartheid” right now. Archbishop Desmond Tutu knows what apartheid is; he says it’s apartheid.
How sad that supporters of the Democratic Party have to line up with AIPAC– which is cited approvingly in the Emergency Committee for Israel ad. Sad that Matthews has to come out in such an operatic manner for Israel (the offensive ad was his closing bit too).
I think the ECI ad is about fundraising, a shot across the fundraisers’ bow. And the attack and Matthews’s counter are further evidence of the primacy of Israel in our politics. As NBC states: “it’s noteworthy that this is the first TV ad hitting Clinton — a year and a half before the first 2016 contests begin, and also before we know for sure Clinton will be running for the White House.”
P.S. Matthews said that Palestinians are Muslims. When many Palestinians are Christian.