Yesterday we did a post showing that Clinton campaign chair John Podesta wanted lines about “how Israel is treating the Palastinians” removed from a draft of Hillary Clinton’s speech last December to the Saban Forum, a powerful pro-Israel Washington audience. Today another Wikileaks email has been published showing what Podesta was objecting to. From the speech draft attached to a December 5, 2015 email from speechwriter Dan Schwerin:
Palestinians have the right to yearn for the freedom to govern themselves, in peace and dignity. For most Americans, it is hard, if not impossible, to imagine living behind checkpoints and roadblocks. Palestinians should be able to achieve their legitimate aspirations.
Now here’s that section in the speech-as-delivered:
Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state in peace and dignity. Now for most Americans it is hard to imagine the reality that exists for many Palestinians and in recent times for many Israeli’s.
Eli Clifton picked this up and states:
[B]etween December 4 and December 6, Clinton’s speech was scrubbed of most language showing sympathy for Palestinians or criticism of the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory….
Palestinian rights and acknowledgment of their national aspirations are nearly completely lacking from the final version. The speech only made a brief reference to Israeli settlement construction, which Clinton loosely described as a “damaging action.”
As for the settlements, here’s the shift between the draft and the speech-as-given. It got weaseled. Draft:
all the parties must work to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution… by avoiding unilateral or damaging actions, whether on the ground, in settlement construction, or at the United Nations.
Everybody has to do their part to create the conditions for progress… by avoiding damaging actions including with respect to settlements and at the same time we should oppose any unilateral action at the United Nations.
Language about the Israelis’ experience also changed. But the Israeli anguish of living under the threat of terror was a big theme in draft and final versions.