WATCH: Hillary Clinton Rebuffs Jon Stewart on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

In an extended interview with comedian Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton disagrees with Stewart's characterization of the current state of affairs in Gaza and explains why.

Transcript:

"Jon Stewart: I very much appreciate you spending a little extra time with us, I know you are off and running. You negotiated the previous ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Before we even get into the obvious snake pit of, 'these guys are right, these guy are wrong, they are evil, that whole thing,' can we at least agree that the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is overwhelming and that the world must do more for the people who are trapped by this conflict?

Hillary Clinton: And they’re trapped by their leadership.  Unfortunately, it’s a two-pronged trapping that is committed to resistance and violence and therefore their actions are mostly about how do we get new and better missiles to launch them at Israel instead of saying, ‘hey, lets try to figure out how we’re going to help make your lives better.’ And when I negotiated the cease-fire in November of 2012, it was right on the brink of Israel once again invading Gaza because of the rockets and so I flew from Cambodia, where I was with the president, to try to see what I can do. And, you know, the Israelis are absolutely right in saying that they can’t just sit there and let rockets rain down. They have a missile defense system, which is working well, but, you know, that can’t be certain, and now there are drones apparently that are being launched from Gaza. They have tried with the Palestinian Authority President Abbas to figure out a way to try to move forward on some sort of negotiated settlement, very difficult. But the Hamas leadership now feels somewhat trapped themselves because they had an ally with the Muslim brotherhood. I negotiated the cease-fire with Morsi and Morsi was able to convince the Hamas groups to abide by it. He’s gone, and now the new regime in Cairo sees Hamas as a danger to them because they see them as a source of instability and violence that can affect them in Sinai and beyond. So they are trapped. And they are trapped, I would argue, first and foremost, by leadership that doesn’t really want to make the situation too much better because that gives them a lot of leverage over the poor people in Gaza.

Stewart: Don’t you think they would look at that, though, as, they’ve given a lot of different things a chance, these are the only guys to them that are giving any resistance to what their condition is and if you’re living in that situation, couldn’t you see yourself thinking, these are our freedom fighters, even if they might be viewed differently?

Clinton: I don’t agree with that for a couple of reasons. When Israel withdrew from Gaza, and I was aware of that, I was in the Senate, I was talking to the people who were organizing it, they left a lot of their businesses. There was a very valuable horticultural business that was set up by the Israelis that had lived in Gaza , and the idea was that this would be literally turned over, money was provided, there would be a fund that would train Palestinians in Gaza to do this work. And basically, the leadership said, ‘We don’t want anything left from Israel.’ Destroyed it all. That mentally, to me, is hard to deal with. If you look at the Palestinian Authority, even though it’s hard for them, they have said we want to end the violence, we want to negotiate a two-state solution, and we recognize Israel’s right to exist. Hamas has not, and says it will not do that. so we’re really in a terrible dilemma. And today there was an offer of a cease-fire from the Egyptian government. The Israelis immediately accepted it. The Hamas leadership said no. So part of what I see Hamas doing is their identity comes from being the violent resistance because they’re trying to somehow set themselves apart from Abbas and the Fatah segment to say ‘OK, we will talk with, we will deal with, we will cooperate with Israel despite our desire to have a state.’"