Hillary Clinton condemned the Palestinian leadership on Monday for celebrating terrorism and inciting violence against Israelis while speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, America’s most influential pro-Israel lobbying group.
"Palestinian leaders need to stop inciting violence, stop celebrating terrorists as martyrs, and stop paying rewards to their families," Clinton told thousands of pro-Israel supporters at AIPAC’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner described how Israel currently "faces brutal terrorist stabbings, shootings, and vehicle attacks at home" carried out by Palestinian terrorists mainly from Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Clinton said these attacks are causing families to live in fear. She then brought up the story of 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force, who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist on March 8 near the Jaffa port.
"These attacks must end immediately," Clinton said.
The presumptive Democratic nominee also described three evolving threats facing Israel and the Middle East that must be addressed: "Iran’s continued aggression, a rising tide of extremism across a wide arc of instability, and the growing effort to delegitimize Israel on the world stage," the latter of which is mainly captured in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement against the Jewish state.
Clinton said these three threats are converging and "make the U.S.-Israel alliance more indispensable than ever," adding that "we have to combat all these trends with even more security and diplomatic cooperation" so both countries can be closer than ever to "prevail against [their common adversaries and to advance [their] shared values." While Clinton has at times had a contentious
Clinton at times had a contentious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when she served as secretary of state and U.S.-Israel ties reached their lowest ebb in decades, according to the then-Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren.