Hillary Clinton and Her Best Friend Dish on Hummus, Bibi, the Moon, and Gardening

In newly released emails, Clinton calls the Israeli PM hard to please, discourages cultural boycott.

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Hillary Clinton in Beaverdale, Iowa, July 25, 2015.
Hillary Clinton in Beaverdale, Iowa, July 25, 2015.Credit: AP

In another wave of Clinton emails that were released Friday, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton dishes hummus, BDS, and Bibi with her childhood best friend, Betsy Ebeling.

In the May 2011 email exchange with the subject line "You are what you eat, I guess," Clinton called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu difficult to impress. "Not even the allure of Mother Moon in all her glory is likely to impress the PM," she wrote.

The email also touched on what is now the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, also known as BDS, and, naturally hummus.

In the initial email to Clinton and her right hand woman Huma Abedin, Ebeling referenced a Chicago Sun Times article on May 19, 2011 that talked about an on campus vote prompted by the Students for Justice in Palestine group at DePaul University to ban Sabra hummus, an Israeli product, on campus.

The emails said that "According to the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, a referendum asking students whether they want a replacement hummus brand served on campus is in fact part of an effort to eliminate Israel."

Hillary responded eight hours later saying "I love Sabra hummus—whatever it means!"

May 2011 was a tough year for U.S. involvement in Israeli-Palestinian relations, and the Arab world in general.

That winter saw the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, which some argue sparked the Arab Spring, the reverberations of which are still felt in the region today.

The same day that Hillary and Betsy talked hummus and sanctions, May 19, President Barack Obama addressed the press on his policy in the Middle East and North Africa in light of the unrest in the region. He opened the speech by gushing over Hillary "one of the finest Secretaries of State in our nation's history." Clinton and Obama did not always see eye to eye on Middle Eastern policy.

On Israel, Obama said the U.S. is dedicated to standing up for its security in the region and pursuing Arab-Israeli peace. But, the Israelis, he later said, continue settlement building, and Palestinians repeatedly walked away from talks, which, he implied, hinders peace.

The next day, Israeli ministers inaugurated new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

Obama, as he maintains today, said "efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure," the president said, but "the status quo is unsustainable," a line that many have reverted to in light of the most recent wave of violence.

Just three days later, on May 22, Obama addressed the annual AIPAC policy summit and reiterated the same thing, and a return to '67 borders.

The Middle Eastern climate and American involvement did not make Clinton's time as Secretary of State easy.

"Everything is sooo hard," Clinton wrote at the end of the exchange, "and not nearly as gratifying as plating your garden."

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