Former American Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is identifying anti-Semitism as an important motivation for the international criticism of Israel’s incursion in Gaza, according to a new interview.
“It is striking … that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. … You have Russia massing battalions—Russia, that actually annexed and is occupying part of a UN member-state—and I fear that it will do even more to prevent the incremental success of the Ukrainian government to take back its own territory, other than Crimea. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine on both sides, not counting the [Malaysia Airlines] plane, and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself,” Rodham Clinton said in an August 10 interview with The Atlantic magazine. “This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.”
Clinton continued: “You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what’s going on in Europe today. There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. So there’s something else at work here than what you see on TV.”
Clinton also blamed Hamas manipulation for the media’s biased reporting on the conflict. “What you see is largely what Hamas invites and permits Western journalists to report on from Gaza. It’s the old PR problem that Israel has,” she told The Atlantic. “Yes, there are substantive, deep levels of antagonism or anti-Semitism towards Israel, because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military. And Hamas paints itself as the defender of the rights of the Palestinians to have their own state. So the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel.”
On 6 August, World Jewish Congress spokeswoman E.J. Kessler called reports from journalists testifying to Hamas intimidation “troubling” and said that “the media must be held responsible for caving in to the totalitarian pressure of Hamas censorship.”