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By JONATHAN TOBIN

U

nfortunately for the Trump

campaign, what we’ve

learned from the Wiki-

Leaks document dump about Hil-

lary Clinton isn’t damning enough

to alter the dynamic of the presi-

dential race. Most of it is the sort of

inside baseball stuff about the

Clinton campaign that in another

era might only come out later when

books by authors like Theodore S.

White and Richard Ben Kramer

were published about the election.

This kind of material tells us what

the former secretary of state and her

staff really think, and makes her

look like the unprincipled and hyp-

ocritical power-seeker that has led

voters to see her as dishonest and

untrustworthy. Even if that’s not

sufficient to outweigh Trump’s

flaws in the minds of a majority of

Americans, it’s fascinating stuff for

political junkies. It’s also worth

examining for what it tells us about

how the likely winner will govern

and the future of her party.

The juicy tidbit the Russian-

assisted hack gave us about the

Clinton campaign’s deliberations

regarding how to broach the men-

tion of Israel during the primaries

should be viewed in that context.

According to the hacked emails, top

figures in the Clinton effort were at

odds about whether she should

even mention Israel while trying to

woo Democratic primary voters.

In May of last year, Jake Sulli-

van, the former State Department

staffer and top Clinton foreign pol-

icy adviser, sought to include a

mention in a campaign speech

about supporting and standing up

for Israel. Clinton’s campaign strat-

egists vetoed the idea, pointing out

that the only people who cared

about the issue were “Republican

primary voters.” In particular, cam-

paign manager Robby Mook flatly

stated: “We shouldn’t have Israel at

public events. Especially dem

[Democratic] activists.” The matter

was resolved when they all agreed

that it was okay for Clinton to speak

of Israel “when she’s with donors”

but not in public.

The good news to be gleaned

from this chilling exchange is that

there were at least some influential

voices inside the Clinton machine

that thought Israel was important.

Some in the Clinton camp wanted to

highlight their candidate’s support

for the Jewish state and opposition

to terrorism targeting its citizens.

Much like Thomas Friedman’s cele-

bration of the fact that WikiLeaks

reveals Clinton to be a supporter of

global free trade rather than the

Bernie Sanders clone she has pre-

tended to be, pro-Israel activists

should be somewhat encouraged. If

her comments to her presumably

pro-Israel donors are what she real-

ly thinks as opposed to a campaign

profile that largely ignored the

Middle East that might give friends

JEWISH WORLD • OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2016 5

Democrats and Israel

What do they really think about the Jewish state?

continued on page 13

COMMENTARY

Then Secretary of State Clinton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were all

smiles at this 2012 meeting. Should Clinton become president, the Democratic

base’s increasing antipathy to Israel will likely make even a staged image of mutual

warmth between the leaders impossible.

Photo: Avi Ohayon/GPO/Flash90/JTA

The WikiLeaks

dump reveals

that Democrats’

sympathy for Israel

has declined to the

point that Clinton’s

advisers decided

she shouldn’t

even mention it

at public events.