Hillary Clinton tells Jewish donors that she would be a better friend to Israel than Barack Obama, Politico reported Friday.
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Politico described Clinton's responses to questions on a nuclear deal with Iran as ‘a foreign policy Rorschach test’ with both supporters and opponents of a prospective deal coming away pleased after talking to her. Although she’s publicly expressed support for a deal, she said she preferred no deal to a bad one.
Negotiations with Iran are of prime concern to Jewish donors who strongly support Israel. However, prominent donors such as Sarah Kovner believe that there will be people who won’t like her decision, whichever way it goes.
According to Politico, Clinton’s campaign is expecting huge donations from and super PACs linked to wealthy Jewish donors. Her spokesman Nick Merrill stated that supporting the negotiations does not contradict supporting Israel, since “a strong deal is good for Israel.” Different interpretations of her words attest to nuanced approach, say her supporters. At another fundraiser, when asked about the Iran deal, she said that she would do what was in the best interests of the U.S.
At a Manhattan fundraiser last week Clinton defended Obama against accusations that he had weakened relations with Israel. She vowed to strengthen these relations if elected President. Stating that diplomacy revolves around personal relationships, she touted her long association with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as her rapport with former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, who has just published a book which is harshly critical of Obama. At another fundraiser she stressed her full support of Israel and her commitment to its defense.
Some donors noted that her approach to Iran was tricky, with some mega-donors, such as Haim Saban, influenced by the negotiations. However, Politico reported on Thursday that Saban had donated $2 million to Clinton’s campaign. There are still concerns that opponents of the deal could box her in and tie her hands.
One Democratic consultant opined that the Iran deal wouldn’t be a deciding factor for donors or voters. Clinton has much credibility with Jewish voters but if she openly supports the deal she will come under fire from donors who oppose it, notes Politico.