Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton listens to a speaker during the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in New York September 24, 2014
The past two weeks have seen enormous clashes in the Holy Land, with a wave of violence between Palestinians primarily in the occupied West Bank but also in Gaza clashing with Israeli soldiers, settlers, and civilians.
The violence has many believing that a third Palestinian intifada, uprising against the occupation, is brewing. This uprising is taking a different form, with Hamas in Gaza and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the West Bank both sitting out the fighting. Rather, young Palestinians are self-organizing as part of raucous protests, while others have, in frustration, engaged in knife attacks against Israeli civilians which have spread fear and terror.
Last night, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton weighed in on this violence by essentially forgetting that the Palestinian casualties of this violence even exist:
Here are some of the facts of what has happened to Palestinians during the past two weeks:
- The Wounded: Over 1,000 Palestinians have been reported woundedsince October 1st.
- The Dead: 28 Palestinians have perished as of this writing. They include a pregnant mother killed in an airstrike, and a group of protesters who were shot with live ammunition.
- Attacked By Settlers: Although the Israeli settlement movement is not employed by the Israeli government, it is shielded by it, with settlers often attacking Palestinians with Israeli soldiers at their flank. October saw a spike in attacks by settlers, with 130 logged in the month so far. The PLO has charted this:
It is not incredibly surprising that Clinton would posture as pro-Israel – she isseeking the support of one of her long-time funders, Haim Saban, an Israeli-American who is a strong supporter of the Israeli government. However, writing the Palestinians out of her statement altogether is a step the U.S. government itself rarely takes, and may be a sign that she is trying to distance herself from President Obama, who has been criticized for his few moments of disagreement with Israel’s government.
Nobody expects the Republicans to speak up for the Palestinians, but it is disappointing that Clinton’s rival Bernie Sanders has not put out any statements on this issue over the past two weeks, despite his words many years ago condemning Israel for the exact same sort of behavior it is conducting right now.