Tag Archives: Secretary of State

Clinton Confirmation Hearings: Good or Bad?

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

First of all, hello! We at Moment and ITM hope you had a lovely holiday season. Here’s to a beautiful 2009! (Or at least one without World War 3 and total economic meltdown.)

In case you haven’t seen it, our January/February issue is out, with a pretty set of photographs chronicling Jewish/black relations in this country to celebrate the inauguration of our 44th president. Darn, what’s his name again?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

The important news of the day involves yesterday’s confirmation hearings of Hillary Clinton for Secratary of State.  Clinton took the opportunity to prepare the country for a new kind of State Department that would have a renewed focus on diplomacy and direct negotiation with Iran and other previously untouchable rogue states; thereby signaling a break from the kind of shunning politics the Condoleeza Rice State Department often utilized.

We are all hanging on every thread of information that could clue us in to how the Obama administration will deal with Israel, especially with the Gaza crisis upon us. Clinton did not get into specifics, but she drew the line on inclusive diplomacy at Hamas. Here’s what she said, from the LA Times:

“The president-elect and I understand — and are deeply sympathetic to — Israel’s desire to defend itself under current conditions and to be free of shelling by Hamas rockets,” she said. “However, we have also been reminded of the tragic humanitarian costs of conflict in the Middle East, and pained by the suffering of Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”

Clinton echoed the Bush administration stand in part by declaring: “You cannot negotiate with Hamas until it renounces violence, recognizes Israel and agrees to abide by past agreements. That is just for me an absolute. That is the United States government’s position; that is the president-elect’s position.” Continue reading

Obama’s Jewish CIA Director: Anthony Lake?

The New York Times claims Lake can have the job if he wants it. While it’s not clear that he does, he’s certainly in the running for something important. After all, Bill Clinton’s former National Security Advisor backed Obama from the start, as Robert Greenberger explains in his profile of the recent convert to Judaism in Moment’s May/June issue.

“Unlike other veterans of Bill Clinton’s Administration—such as Madeleine Albright and Richard Holbrooke (Lake’s equally ambitious rival in the foreign service class of 1962 who is considered to be a frontrunner for Secretary of State in a Hillary Clinton administration and is also Jewish), Lake chose not to support Hillary Clinton.

“Instead, he threw his weight behind Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, to whom he is now senior foreign policy advisor. Lake was one of the first members of the Washington, D.C. Democratic foreign policy establishment to notice Obama. He heard about him in 2002 while in Chicago to give a speech about civil liberties with Federal Appeals Court Judge Abner Mikva, a former congressman from the Chicago area. “Somebody asked me if I would talk to this guy who was a state senator who had decided to run for the U.S. Senate but had no chance,” Lake remembers. “Would I talk to him about foreign policy? I said, ‘Sure.'”

“This guy was Obama.”

Read the rest of the piece here.

–Jeremy Gillick


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