Hillary Clinton, in a letter a major Democratic party donor, strongly condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that seeks to put economic pressure on Israel and Israel-made goods.
“I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority,” she said in a letter to Haim Saban, the Israeli-American businessman who has been a big Clinton backer. The letter was reported Monday by The Forward and The Hill.
Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, asked for his advice on “how we can work together - across party lines and with a diverse array of voices - to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
Clinton noted that BDS, begun by Palestinian activists in 2005 as a means of putting economic pressure on Israel, “seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace.”
Clinton added that, “from Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
Clinton, a former secretary of state, pledged “I will be speaking out publicly on this in the weeks ahead, so I am eager to hear your perspective and advice.” She included a handwritten note, saying, “Look forward to working with you on this.”
Saban, a native of Egypt, immgrated to Israel when he was 12. He served in the Israel Defense Force and helped build the nation’s tour promotion business.