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Hillary Clinton: Opening and Closing Remarks at the International Conference on Libya

March 29, 2011

Opening remarks:

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SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Prime Minister, and thanks to you and your government for the critical leadership effort you have demonstrated in our common effort. Thanks too to France, which has been at the forefront of this mission, including by hosting many of us last week in Paris, and really thanks to everyone around this table. We have prevented a potential massacre, established a no-fly zone, stopped an advancing army, added more partners to this coalition, and transferred command of the military effort to NATO. That’s not bad for a week of work at a time of great, intense international concern.

The United States has been proud to stand with our NATO, Arab, and European partners. We’ve been responding to the appeals of the Libyan people and to the Arab League’s call for urgent action. And we have joined with countries around the world, including all three countries representing Africa on the United Nations Security Council, to pass two strong resolutions. So this has been truly an international effort and a reflection of our shared concern for the safety of civilians and our support for the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people.

Well, we meet now in London at a turning point. NATO has taken command of enforcing the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. On Sunday, it agreed to take on the additional responsibility of protecting civilians. Last night, President Obama expressed his full confidence that this coalition will keep the pressure on Qadhafi’s remaining forces. I second that confidence. This coalition military action will continue until Qadhafi fully complies with the terms of 1973, ceases his attacks on civilians, pulls his troops back from places they have forcibly entered, and allows key services and humanitarian assistance to reach all Libyans.

But beyond our military efforts, all of us are called to continue to work together along three tracks: First, delivering desperately needed humanitarian assistance; second, pressuring and isolating the Qadhafi regime through robust sanctions and other measures; third, supporting efforts by Libyans to achieve their aspirations through political change. On the humanitarian front, under the leadership of the United Nations, we will work with NATO, the EU, other international organizations and regional partners to deliver assistance.

The coalition military campaign has made it possible for more help to get through. For example, a convoy organized by the World Food Program was able to reach Benghazi this weekend with 18 tons of supplies, including food and blankets. But a great deal more aid is needed and we have to work quickly and cooperatively to assess and respond. Beyond the humanitarian crisis, we know long-term progress in Libya will not be accomplished through military means.

All of us have to continue the pressure on and deepen the isolation of the Qadhafi regime. This includes a unified front of political and diplomatic pressure that makes clear to Qadhafi he must go, that sends a strong message of accountability, and that sharpens the choice for those around him. It also includes financial pressure through the vigorous enforcement of sanctions authorized under Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.

As President Obama said last night, while our military mission is focused on saving lives, we must continue to pursue the broader goal of a Libya that belongs not to a dictator, but to the Libyan people. Now, we cannot and must not attempt to impose our will on the people of Libya, but we can and must stand with them as they determine their own destiny. And we have to speak with one voice in support of a transition that leads to that time. We agree with the Arab League that Qadhafi has lost the legitimacy to lead. We agree with the African Union on the need for a democratic transition process. And we support UN Special Envoy Khatib’s planned travel to Libya following this conference to assess conditions and report to the international community.

We believe that Libya’s transition should come through a broadly inclusive process that reflects the will and protects the rights of the Libyan people. The Transitional National Council and a broad cross-section of Libya’s civil society and other stakeholders have critical contributions to make. Earlier today, I had the opportunity to meet with senior representatives of the council and to talk about the path forward. The UN, the African Union, the Arab League, the OIC, and the EU all have important roles to play. And through this, the United States will join the international community in our commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national unity of Libya.

This is a time of great change for Libya, for its neighbors across the region and around the world. Under different governments, under different circumstances, people are expressing the same basic aspirations – a voice in their government, an end to corruption, freedom from violence and fear, the chance to live in dignity, and to make the most of their God-given talents. Now, we know these goals are not easily achieved, but they are, without question, worth working for together. And I’m very proud that this coalition has come to this place at this time to try to pursue those goals. Thank you very much.

Closing remarks:
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SECRETARY CLINTON: All set? I apologize for my voice.

Good afternoon and I want to begin by expressing certainly our gratitude to the prime minister and the foreign secretary and the entire government for hosting this important conference. I’ve just concluded a very full day of business covering an array of issues with a broad range of counterparts.

I began the day with a meeting with Dr. Jibril and two other representatives of the Libyan Transitional National Council to hear their perspective on the situation in Libya. We talked about our efforts to protect civilians and to meet humanitarian needs and about the ongoing coalition military action in support of Resolution 1973. We also discussed the need for a political solution and transition in Libya, and I reiterated the support of the United States on behalf of President Obama for the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people, and our commitment to helping them achieve those aspirations.

I also had the opportunity to meet with both Prime Minister Cameron and with Foreign Minister Hague. I expressed the United States’ gratitude for the critical leadership that the United Kingdom has shown in building an effective international response to the crisis in Libya. We consulted on the way forward, the military, political, and humanitarian dimensions. And we also discussed events and broader trends across the Middle East and North Africa and our joint efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I had the opportunity also to consult with a number of other counterparts about Libya because today’s conference is taking place at a moment of transition, as NATO takes over as leader of the coalition mission, a mission in which the United States will continue to play an active, supporting role. Some of our coalition partners announced additional support and contributions today, which we welcomed.

In addition to our joint military efforts, we discussed the need for progress in Libya along the three nonmilitary tracks: First, delivering humanitarian assistance; second, pressuring and isolating the Qadhafi regime through robust sanctions and other measures; and third, supporting efforts by Libyans to achieve the political changes that they are seeking.

We also agreed on a structure for decision making going forward on both the military and political tracks. On the military side, we agreed that the North Atlantic Council with coalition partners fully at the table will be the sole provider of executive direction for NATO operations, similar to the ISAF approach for Afghanistan. On the political side, we agreed to establish a contact group to offer a systematic coordination mechanism and broad political guidance on the full range of efforts under Resolutions 1970 and 1973. And as I’m sure you just heard from the prime minister of Qatar, Qatar has agreed to host the first meeting of the contact group, along with the UK.

In a series of side meetings, I also had the chance to discuss a number of issues, including Syria. I expressed our strong condemnation of the Syrian Government’s brutal repression of demonstrators, in particular the violence and killing of civilians in the hands of security forces. I also discussed efforts that are undertaken by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, particularly our joint effort to pass a resolution at the Human Rights Council that promotes tolerance and respect as well as free expression. And we greatly appreciate the OIC hosting a meeting of the International Contact Group on Afghanistan and Pakistan in Jeddah. I was also able to consult on a number of regional matters, including, of course, Libya with Foreign Minister Davutoglu of Turkey.

So it was a full day for all of us. We came to London to speak with one voice in support of a transition that leads to a brighter future for the Libyan people. I’m very pleased with the progress that we have made both today and in the days preceding it, and grateful for everyone who participated in the conference and in the broader effort in Libya. I think we are making a lot of progress together, and we could not do it unless we were representing the international community as we are.

So with that, I’d be happy to take your questions.

MODERATOR: Our first question is from Andy Quinn of Reuters.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, in your meeting today with Dr. Jibril, I was wondering, were you able to make any concrete offers of assistance to them, either through turning over the $33 billion in Libyan funds that have been frozen in the United States, or in discussing possible arms transfers?

And Admiral Stavridis told the Senate today that intelligence shows flickers – he called – he used the word “flickers” of al-Qaida in the Libyan opposition. How great a concern is that? And is that part of the U.S. debate over any potential arms transfers to the transitional council?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Andy, first of all, we have not made any decision about arming the rebels or providing any arms transfers, so there has not been any need to discuss that at this point. We did discuss nonlethal assistance. We discussed ways of trying to enable the Transition National Council to meet a lot of their financial needs and how we could do that through the international community given the challenges that sanctions pose but recognizing that they obviously are going to need funds to keep themselves going. We discussed a broad range of matters and certainly their presentation, which some of you may have seen earlier today, as to what kind of civil society and political structure they are trying to build in Libya are exactly in line with what they have consistently said were their goals. Their commitment to democracy and to a very robust engagement with people from across the spectrum of Libyans is, I think, appropriate. We do not have any specific information about specific individuals from any organization who are part of this, but of course, we’re still getting to know those who are leading the Transitional National Council. And that will be a process that continues.

MODERATOR: Our next question is from Sam Coates of the Times of London.

QUESTION: Two things. First of all, is it your understanding that the UN Resolution 1973 makes it illegal to supply arms to the Libyan rebels, or do you think there could be some room for maneuver of that should it get to that?

And secondly, it’s quite striking when the rebels were talking earlier today, none of their names are public apart from three or four of the 30-odd of them, and they clearly have access – they have quite a lot of power and access to a lot of funds through oil money. Do you think that they should be more transparent in terms of declaring who they are, where they’re from, what kind of groupings they come from, and how they’re using the money?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as to the first question, it is our interpretation that 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition of arms to anyone in Libya so that there could be legitimate transfer of arms if a country were to choose to do that. As I said, we have not made that decision at this time.

Secondly, I do think that greater transparency will, of course, be expected and will be delivered. But I think you have to put this into context. I mean, this is a very fast-evolving, but by no means settled, structure that they are trying to build. They also claim to have a number of people who are willing to work with them from central and western Libya who, for security reasons, cannot yet be named.

So I do think that this is a work in progress. And just as with respect to Andy’s question, we don’t know as much as we would like to know and as much as we expect we will know. We’re picking up information. A lot of contact is going on, not only by our government but many governments that are part of the coalition. So we’re building an understanding, but at this time, obviously, it is, as I say, a work in progress.

MODERATOR: Jay Solomon of the Wall Street Journal.

QUESTION: Thank you. I have a question regarding Syria. Over the weekend, you gave an interview where you said how many members of Congress viewed President Asad as a reformer. Is that your position? Because you know there’s been well-documented cases of Syrian support for terrorist groups, allegations it’s pursued atomic weapons, and some in Congress said that Syria actually poses a greater threat to the United States – its national security – than Libya does. Is it the Obama Administration’s position now that it can work with President Asad to instigate or initiate some of the reforms that its people are clearly calling for? Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, Jay, as you rightly pointed out, I referenced opinions of others. That was not speaking either for myself or for the Administration. We deplore the crackdown that is occurring in Syria and we call on Syria, as we have throughout the last months, to respect the rights of its citizens, to allow people to protest peacefully, to work toward political and economic reform that would be to the benefit of the Syrian people.

So there is no difference in how we view this than how we have viewed the other incredible sequence of actions that we’ve seen in North Africa and in the Middle East. And we hope that there is an opportunity for reform. We hope there’s an opportunity for reform in all of these countries. We want to see peaceful transitions. We want to see democracies that represent the will of the people.

So I think that we’re, like the Syrian people, waiting and watching to see what comes from the Syrian Government. They dismissed the cabinet today, which resigned en masse. And as we have said so many times before, we support the timely implementation of reforms that meet the demands that Syrians are presenting to their government, such as immediately eliminating Syria’s state of emergency laws, which has been in effect for a long time.

It is up to the Syrian Government, it is up to the leadership, starting with President Bashir Asad, to prove that it can be responsive to the needs of its own people. So we’re troubled by what we hear, but we’re also going to continue to urge that the promise of reform, which has been made over and over again and which you reported on just a few months ago – I’m a reformer, I’m going to reform, and I’ve talked to members of Congress and others about that, that we hear from the highest levels of leadership in Syria – will actually be turned into reality. That’s what we’re waiting and watching for.

MODERATOR: And the final question from Duncan Gardham of the Daily Telegraph.

QUESTION: Hi, I wondered how you view the situation in Libya at the moment. There seems to be a bit of almost ping-pong going on. The rebels seem to be withdrawing from some areas today. How do you see the situation evolving in Libya? How long do you see it lasting? And if you’re talking to Qadhafi, what are his options? He can obviously try and stay or he can face the ICC, but is there a third option where he could travel to another country?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first, I think that what we are seeing in Libya is a strengthening of the opposition, a consistent and very persistent effort by the opposition to try to hold ground which they have had and to regain ground which they have lost. Unfortunately, we are also seeing with Qadhafi a continuing pressure on the rebels, on his people, a willingness to use force. We had reports today of continuing military action by Qadhafi’s forces in Misrata and elsewhere. So this is a volatile, dynamic situation that is unfolding.

We accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. We clearly believe, as President Obama said last night, that we prevented a massacre in Benghazi, that we were able to stop the military advance that was moving rapidly from west to east, and that we sent a clear message through the international community’s willingness to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians that that kind of ruthless behavior by a leader toward his own people would not be tolerated. This has happened so quickly that we’re now facing questions like the ones you ask, but I’m not sure that we know exactly when we will get to any change in attitude by Qadhafi and those around him.

As you know, there’s a lot of reaching out that is occurring, a lot of conversations that are going on, and as the Arab League has said, it’s also obvious to everyone that Qadhafi has lost the legitimacy to lead. So we believe he must go. We’re working with the international community to try to achieve that outcome. He will have to make a decision. And that decision, so far as we’re aware, has not yet been made.

You probably know that the secretary general’s special envoy will be going to Tripoli and Benghazi, once again to urge Qadhafi to implement a real ceasefire that is not going to be immediately breached by his own forces, to withdraw from those areas that he has taken by force, and to look for a political resolution, which could include his leaving the country. So, I mean, all of this is in play. And many of the nations that were here in London today are working together to try to gather information, to share the impressions each has with the conversations that are coming from Tripoli and from those close to Qadhafi about what is or isn’t being considered.

So I expect to see things continue to move in a positive direction. But I can’t by any means give you any sort of timeline. That is just not sensible at this point. We don’t have enough information to do that.

MODERATOR: Thank you all very much.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Thain permalink
    March 29, 2011 6:20 pm

    Great vertical photo of her in the middle.

    Yesterday I heard Bahrain and/or the UAE were canceling their military support for the operation and that UAE fighter jets that had been sent to help the coalition were flown back to the UAE. I need to find a link because I heard that on the radio. The reason was they don’t like our policy towards them- in other words, because we are criticizing Bahrain, etc. for killing protesters, they won’t help us with Libya.

    This is the problem with supporting autocrats who rule by royal bloodline and who oppress their people. While some of these countries haven’t been as overtly hostile and violent as Gadhafi, some of them are so friggin’ repressive that people are even afraid to go out into the streets- like in Saudi Arabia for example.

    I know other people have said this but we need to totally rethink our policies in the region.

    In other news, according to Haaretz, Israel is considering annexing huge portions of the West Bank- hello? Totally illegal. Total silence from this administration. I hope Hillary and Obama are happy- two years of enabling the far right Israeli govt has made things WORSE than they were before. Sorry folks but it’s true. I think it’s pretty obvious that Israel’s actions of late are in total conflict with our national security interests, not to mention it’s a shitty way to treat an ally (ie. us) which is why it KILLS me when the I-Lobby says this administration isn’t nice enough to Israel. What the f*ck does Israel do for us except put us in hot water with the whole rest of the world? And it’s never enough they just want more, more, more. More $$, more weapons, more unquestioning diplomatic support, more constant claims of “we are dedicated to Israel’s security, we are dedicated to Israel’s security, we are dedicated to Israel’s security, we are dedicated to Israel’s security, blah blah blah.”

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      March 30, 2011 12:39 am

      Just to pick up on your distressing news about further annexations in the West Bank, Israel’s silence on the revolutionary wave across Northern Africa and the Middle East has been absolutely deafening. Clearly, they could not have been very pleased about losing an ally in Mubarek, but their total silence about protests in other Arab countries — not to mention their scrambling to grab more land in the West Bank and finish the barrier along the Egyptian border — suggests any change represents a threat to their security. If the wave of protests spreads to Palestinian people and succeeds in uniting their split parties, Israel will really be in a pickle. How awkward for the “only viable democracy in the Middle East” (sic) when its anti-democratic roots begin to show.

  2. stacyx permalink*
    March 30, 2011 7:31 am

    Israel has been tilting away from democracy for some time now, it’s just that our govt and the MSM make sure to keep news stories about it away from us so the conversation remains as dumbed-down as possible- Israel=good, Palestinians=bad.

    A 2 state solution is not likely due to the US’s enabling of these illegal land grabs. Thus, there will be entrenched apartheid which the US will be forced to support by the anti-peace, pro conflict Lobby, with the tacit support of the Jewish community.

    The US and Usrael will do everything in their considerable power to prevent reunification of Fatah and Hamas, just like we did during the Bush years- that backfired of course but we never learn. Abbas has made clear that this oh-so-pro-change admin has threatened to cut off all funds to the Palestinians.

    Accirding to Haaretz Our European allies want the US to allow the international community to take over peace negotiations b/c they know we are incapable of being anything other than Israel’s lawyer

  3. Thain permalink
    March 30, 2011 9:43 am

    There is an article in Commentary Magazine, which is basically the mouthpiece of the neocons and Israel Lobby, which essentially says that Obama better not question or push Israel in any way, shape or form or else Congress will turn on him and Jews will not give money or vote for him. In other words, it feeds into every negative stereotype of the Lobby- that they control policy, throw money at condidates based solely on their stance on Israel and that they have a dual loyalty problem.

    This happens every time an administration tries to seriously work on a two state solution- the Lobby and the Jewish community threaten to turn on the POTUS and that party. We like to blame the Israelis and Palestinians for the impasse but the US shares equal blame. The US has shown time and time again it can’t be a mediator in this conflict because there’s a political price to pay for anyone who dares to be objective in expecting BOTH sides to make concessions. We’ve had decades of illegal colonial expansion of settlements for one reason only- the US has not only turned the other way while saying “gee, please stop settlements, but only if you want too!” while tax laws regarding charitable donations and even apparently government funds go towards expanding the illegal settlement enterprise.

    Everyone knows Israel isn’t going to give back the land it stole and when Hillary was Senator and when Obama was a candidate they both repeated the AIPAC propaganda saying Jerusalem should never be in the hands of the Palestinians and they were opposed to halting settlements. In other words, the UN and internationally community would do well to tell us to get the hell out of the peace process because we can’t be both Israel’s protector in all things and mediate a JUST solution to the crisis.

    • March 30, 2011 9:56 am

      I read the Commentary article- it’s really stunning.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      March 30, 2011 1:52 pm

      I feel like one of the four children at the Sedar in this conversation, asking the naive questions, but helps me learn, so:
      It seems like this is a golden opportunity for Israel to achieve lasting peace and they’re squandering it. I read an article in USA Today this morning (freebee at my hotel) based on interviews with anti-Qadaffi forces in Benghazi — which I haven’t seen in othet papers, incidentally, just alarmist stories about “Who ARE
      these guys? Couldn’t they be al-Queda?”
      These were intetviews with Libyans from a broad spectrum of Libyan society — an engineer from Libya Air, doctors, lawyers,
      unemployed youth, semi-nomads from tbe Southern desert, united by their hatred for Qaddafi. My point in mentioning it is that they were adament they wanted nothing to do with Al-Queda, that they envision a constitutional democracy with capitalism as the dominant economic model, and that while they continuously support the Palestinian cause, “Israel is not our priority. We are not interested in war. We want to see prosperity first. We can be the Dubai No 2” — which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense. The newly enfranchised, democratized people across Northern Africa and the Middle East are not going to have as their numbet one goal the destruction of the Jewish state.

      • March 30, 2011 2:22 pm

        I feel like one of the four children at the Sedar in this conversation, asking the naive questions, but helps…

        That’s a role I’m familiar with in our house, at least at holidays 😉

        Anyhoo, I am frustrated with the whole Fear of the Muslim Boogeyman theme coming from every corner of the media, in particular Faux news. While there are legitimate questions regarding who these people are, since we may be eventually arming them, but it seems like overt racism/discrimination at times because we seem to assume that when non-Arabs demand democracy, they are just doing the right thing but when Arabs do it, they must have some evil underlying purpose. That sort of attitude could backfire big time, particularly with the US’ history of backing despotic regimes in the region due to interest in natural resources, intelligence info. and of course, Israel.

        Some radical elements, which exist in every society, may try to take advantage of the unrest in the region but so far in every single country the primary concern is a) democracy and human rights/political participation, b) economic opportunities and c) self determination. It seems like much of the fears of an Islamic takeover in these various countries is more a projection of some people’s entrenched biases.

        As for Israel, I’m fed up. For years they gave themselves credit, as did the US, for being the Middle East’s only democracy. Israel and the US argued that that made them strategically important to us. Some Israeli leaders even said that peace with non-democratic regimes would be impossible. Well now guess what? Israel seems to not want it’s neighbors to become democratic and while they have been quiet about much of what is going on, when they have spoken they have been extremely negative and fear-mongering which to me seems politically unwise. They should openly embrace the democratic movements and let these countries know they want to work with them and remain at peace. Basically, while Israel has very legitimate security concerns it also tends to cry wolf and make excuses for not doing the right thing. As we know, their first response was to ask for an extra 20 billion in response to the upheaval. If they are really that worried, they should work to create a lasting peace/2 state solution pronto. Since they don’t do that and seem intent on provoking the Palestinians with increasing land grabs, I can only assume that they really aren’t that concerned with security but rather are using it as a well-worn excuse.

        Steve Clemmons and some other foreign policy experts have tried to urge this administration and this country to start to accept that political Islam will be a fact of life in the Muslim world and that that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an acceptance of Muslim extremism. Turkey is sort of an example of a democratic country that co-exists with Islamic beliefs- and while their are tensions at times as a result of this, one could argue these tensions exist in our own country and certainly in Israel, which every day becomes less of a secular state and more one based in extreme religious nationalism and that never really works out well for anyone.

  4. Steve permalink
    March 30, 2011 5:14 pm

    Israel doesn’t want peace- they are unwilling to make any sacrifices and have been spoiled by the US’ total protection from any and all accountability. Anyone who follows Palestinian news (Ma’an for example) knows what is really going on. Our MSM tells about 0.05% of the story. Do you think most Americans know the Arab League member states offered to totally normalize relations with Israel if Israel ended the occupation and withdrew to the internationally, legal borders from 1967 and Israel said “no, we prefer expansion?” Do you think most Americans know non-Jews in Israel have to take a loyalty oath to Israel to be citizens? Do most people know that a Jew and non-Jew can’t get legally married in Israel but instead have to go to another country? Do most people know there is a govt agency in Israel charged with determining who is Jewish and who isn’t? Do most people know there are Jew-only roads and Jew-only housing? Do most people know US tax dollars went to help construct the so-called security fence (aka apartheid wall)? Do most Americans know there is actually a law on the book in THIS country that forbids businesses from joining in international boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns even though that is a total violation of free speech? I could go on and on. My wife is Israeli and she always says “if people only knew…” which is why the MSM makes sure we don’t.

    • March 30, 2011 6:55 pm

      From today’s State Dept. press briefing:

      QUESTION: Oh, just on that. There were a bunch of lawmakers who wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton yesterday saying that she should speak out more about Palestinian – alleged Palestinian incitement of violence against the Israelis. Do you know if she’s gotten that letter, and if she has, if she plans to do anything —

      Un-f*cking-believable! See what I mean? It’s CONSTANT. The State Dept. issued multiple statements condemning the attacks against Israelis over the past several weeks and she publicly made comments in support of Israel repeatedly. This BS about constantly blaming the Palestinians about incitement is just more propaganda for the media at the request of the Lobby. Do the Palestinians do things at times that incite and provoke? Yes, they do. Do the Israelis? Yes, they do. But which side is always called out on it- the Palestinians. Which side is NEVER called out on it- the Israelis.

      While Abbas and Fayyad are far from perfect the fact is, the US and Israelis have to know that they are the most pro-Western, moderate Palestinian leaders that they could ever hope for. It is unlikely any future Palestinian leader under Occupation will be as compliant (or complacent, depending on your view). In fact, most think the PA/Fatah are basically US and Israeli puppets. And yet that’s STILL not enough for Congress and the anti-peace, pro-status quo Lobby.

      You know, if people don’t want peace then I wish they would just have the intellectual honesty to come out and say it rather than pretending. At this point it’s pretty clear that while Congress supports a two-state solution in theory, it doesn’t in practice. Congress supports settlement expansion, Congress sides with whatever Israeli leader happens to be in power whenever a US president tries to get Israel to change its self defeating behavior, Congress doesn’t approve of Jerusalem being divided and Congress actually supports moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Basically, Congress sees the Palestinians as cock-roaches that should just be snuffed out and if the only way to do it is ethnic cleansing, so be it. If we actually had a media that did, you know, journalism, they would confront this hypocrisy on the part of Congress, but, well, we don’t have that kind of media.

  5. March 31, 2011 9:59 am

    F”YI: The ridiculous letter sent to Secy Clinton from members of the Senate urging her to condemn Palestinian incitement. I guess Israel gave them their marching orders:

    Dear Secretary Clinton:

    In the wake of this month’s brutal terrorist murders of a Jewish family in Itamar and the terrorist bombing of a civilian bus in Jerusalem, we are writing with serious concern over continuing incitement directed against Jews and Israel within the Palestinian media, mosques and schools, and even by individuals or institutions affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA). We would like to know what specific steps you are taking to press for an end to this dangerous incitement.

    Palestinian incitement includes the glorification of terrorists and jihad, and anti-Semitic stereotypes in the Palestinian media. There are a number of examples of Palestinian incitement over the last year listed in an index established by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

    On March 9, 2011, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ advisor, Sabri Saidam, delivered a speech in which he emphasized that Palestinian weapons must be turned towards Israel. Saidam reportedly demanded that the Palestinian people be attentive to the living conditions of martyrs’ families and said that the anniversary of the death of Dalal Mughrabi (one of the perpetrators of a 1978 coastal highway massacre) should be marked by inaugurating a square in her name in the city of El-Bireh.

    On February 9, 2011, the official Palestinian television station broadcast a clip from a campaign entitled “Women as Exemplars,” during which Dalal Mughrabi (see above) was extolled. In the summer of 2010, several children’s summer camps were named after her.

    On January 24, 2011, the Governor of Jenin issued a Presidential Grant worth $2,000 to the family of a Palestinian terrorist, Khaldoun Samoudi, who was killed while trying to detonate two bombs against Israeli soldiers at the Beka’ot Crossing.

    On January 2, 2011, Al Hayat Al-Jadida reported that Azzam Al-Ahmed, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, attended a gathering on the 46th anniversary of the establishment of Fatah during which models of settlement buildings were blown up. He reportedly reviewed terrorist attacks perpetrated by Fatah and said that, “Fatah is a mass movement which believed in popular revolution and wrested its right to use all means of resistance in order to achieve its aim.”

    Although President Abbas has expressed his sorrow over the Itamar massacre, the Palestinian Authority must take unequivocal steps to condemn the incident and stop allowing the incitement that leads to such crimes. Educating people toward peace is critical to establishing the conditions to a secure and lasting peace.

    The Itamar massacre was a sobering reminder that words matter, and that Palestinian incitement against Jews and Israel can lead to violence and terror. We urge you to redouble your efforts to impress upon the Palestinian leadership that continuing to condone incitement is not tolerable. We also urge you to consider focusing adequate training and educational programs in the West Bank and Gaza that promote peaceful coexistence with Israel.


    Mark Kirk

    Kirsten E. Gillibrand

    Jon Kyl

    Robert Menendez

    Barbara A. Mikulski

    Mary L. Landrieu

    James E. Risch

    Charles E. Schumer

    James M. Inhofe

    Ron Wyden

    Pat Roberts

    Joseph L. Lieberman

    Frank R. Lautenberg

    Amy Klobuchar

    Jerry Moran

    Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    John Ensign

    Benjamin L. Cardin

    Roger Wicker

    Bill Nelson

    Roy Blunt

    John Boozman

    Patrick J. Toomey

    Sherrod Brown

    John Barrasso

    Mike Crapo

    Jon Tester has done a good job (yesterday) of compiling examples of how Israel uses children’s books and comic books, television programs (in addition to their formal education system) etc. to teach Jewish children how all Arabs are essentially subhuman terrorists and how Jews have an unquestioned right to the land- it’s just that those horrible Palestinians are in the way of realizing the Biblical dream of Greater Israel. I guess that doesn’t count as incitement? Or how about the loyalty oath law- is that incitement? Or how about arresting Palestinian children as young as 10 for no reason, keeping them in isolation and refusing to tell their parents where they are, all in order to send a message to Palestinian protesters in places like Bil’in? How about stealing Palestinian water sources so they don’t have enough drinking water? Or how about stealing land and bulldozing Palestinian homes in violating of international law- is that incitement?

    When Hillary was Senator she basically wrote off all Palestinian complaints of incitement and the targeting of children by Israel as nonsense or just a case of Palestinians using children as political pawns. I hope that doesn’t exemplify how she really feels about this but rather was just something she felt she had to say to become Senator from NY- although that doesn’t really rationalize such anti-palestinian bias either- the fact that one has to write off every Palestinian concern in order to get elected in NY tells us something disturbing about many of the voters of NY but I won’t come out and say what that something is because it’s impolitic and politically incorrect.

  6. January 26, 2013 12:13 pm

    I love how her blue eyes match what she is wearing.

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