Hillary Clinton: I will combat BDS and stand by Israel

May 10, 2016 8:24 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (file photo)

US Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has reaffirmed her commitment to combat the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, known as BDS.
“I believe that BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict,” Clinton said Sunday in response to an appeal from the Israel Action Network, an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America.
The BDS campaign against Israel over its apartheid policies toward the Palestinians has gained momentum globally in recent years in its quest to end the Israeli occupation and colonization of .
Clinton wrote her comments in a two-page reply ahead of the quadrennial United Methodist Church General Conference starting Tuesday in Portland, Oregon.
“I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority, and that we need to work together — across party lines and with a diverse array of voices — to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel,” she said in the letter.
The former secretary of state said she would support Israel as a partner, claiming that the anti-Israel movement would also harm Palestinians, whose land has been occupied by Israelis for decades.
“I stand ready to be your partner as we engage all people of good faith — regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics — in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the .
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
The United Nations, the and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.
High-ranking US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have repeatedly said that all Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal.
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