Sarah Bard, the Jewish outreach director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is holding an official fundraiser for the Democratic frontrunner next month in Tel Aviv, the same Israeli city where thousands marched in a “Death to the Arabs” rally only days ago.
But don’t expect any objections from Clinton’s base, some of whom demonstrated earlier this week just how little they care about their candidate’s support for repressive states.
On Monday, during a campaign speech by Clinton’s daughter Chelsea, Clinton supporters shouted down Ariel Gold, a peace activist with the antiwar group CODEPINK, for protesting the Clinton family’s ties to human rights abusers.
As Chelsea addressed the crowd of around 150 people in Ithaca, ahead of the New York state primary, Gold unfurled a banner that read, “No support for repressive regimes,” prompting angry groans from the audience.
In the video above, Gold can be heard saying, “Chelsea Clinton, our children need a world where they do not live under repressive regimes.”
The audience immediately begins chanting, “Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!”
Just as Gold is about to be carted out of the event, she yells, “Hillary Clinton provides unconditional support for Israel, despite its illegal occupation of Palestine and violations of international law!”
Members of the audience hiss back at her, “We didn’t come here to hear you!” and “Goodbye!”
Undaunted, Gold continues to make her points.
“Hillary Clinton and her family provide support for repressive regimes! Chelsea, it’s time for your family to end their support for repressive regimes! Why does your family take millions of dollars from the Saudi monarchy,” Gold responds. “Why is Hillary trying to take away our First Amendment right to boycott apartheid Israel? We need a president for peace! No weapons to the Saudi government!”
Some in the audience fire back, “Out, out, out!” and “Leave! Leave! We don’t care what you have to say!”
Upon Gold’s ejection from the room, the audience applauds.
“Anything but progressive”
Such behavior is completely at odds with Clinton’s attempt to reinvent herself as a champion of social justice on the campaign trail in recent months, which is partly what compelled Gold to protest the Democratic frontrunner.
“Hillary Clinton’s support for and cozy relationship with repressive regimes is anything but progressive,” Gold told The Electronic Intifada.
“Rather than standing up for human rights around the world, she has, through the Clinton Foundation, taken millions of dollars from the Saudi monarchy” and “supported the sale of massive amounts of weapons to the Saudis, including cluster bombs, despite Saudi Arabia’s bombing of civilian populations, sentencing of children to execution and restrictions against women,” she added.
“Likewise, Clinton has pledged if elected to provide unconditional support for the apartheid state of Israel and attack our First Amendment right to use boycott, divestment and sanctions as a form of nonviolent protest,” Gold said.
Indeed, the Clinton family has deep ties with repressive regimes through the Clinton Foundation, its lucrative vehicle for corporate shilling and disaster capitalism masquerading as philanthropy.
During her stint as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton rewarded her foundation’s long list of despotic donors with enormous weapons deals.
Among them was Saudi Arabia, which had donated $10 million to the Clinton Foundation in previous years, as Gold mentioned.
Meanwhile, in a show of gratitude to her billionaire mega-donor Haim Saban, Clinton has vowed “to make countering BDS” – the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – “a priority” of her presidency.
An Israeli American media mogul, Saban freely admits that his number one priority is to influence US foreign policy in Israel’s favor with a three-pronged strategy that includes donating to politicians.
Saban has poured at least $6.4 million into efforts to get Clinton elected president, guaranteeing that Clinton’s anti-Palestinian rhetoric and devotion to Israel’s right-wing government will continue well into her presidency if she is elected.
If the hostile reception to Gold’s protest is any indication, it is highly unlikely that Clinton’s increasingly hawkish pandering will ever elicit outrage from her base.