Bill Clinton Sports Hebrew 'Hillary' Pin at Democratic National Convention

The former U.S. president has a special connection to the Hebrew language – Israelis will never forget his use of 'shalom haver' at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral.

Bill Clinton sports a pin spelling out the name of his wife in Hebrew lettering.
Saul Loeb, AFP

A surprise shout out to party activists in the Jewish community took place on the crucial third night of the Democratic National Convention, when former president and prospective presidential husband Bill Clinton sported a pin spelling out the name of his wife in Hebrew lettering.

The “Hillary in Hebrew” pin was distributed by the National Jewish Democratic Council at the Philadelphia convention.

As he listened to speeches by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine, Clinton wore the blue and white pin on his lapel, and it was clearly visible when television cameras showed him reacting to them.

Clinton has a special connection to the Hebrew language. Israelis will never forget the Hebrew words he spoke during his emotional speech at the funeral of slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin that are burned in their collective memory: “Shalom haver” – Hebrew for “Goodbye, friend.”

After the pin was spotted, photographs of Clinton wearing it quickly made its way around Jewish and Israeli circles on social media.

When former Clinton aide and NJDC PR man Steve Rabinowitz tweeted the photograph of the pin, he wrote, “When he told me at the Clinton/Gore alumni event today he'd wear it, I didn't think he meant tonight.”

Rabinowitz explained the background of the tweet to Tablet Magazine:  “I was at a Clinton/Gore campaign alumni event this afternoon at the Jewish Historical Museum in Philadelphia and gave my old boss the pin. He said he’d wear it but I didn’t know whether or not to believe him and certainly didn’t think he’d do it tonight.

"Meanwhile, separately and without either of us knowing it, Marc Stanley [the chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council] did the same thing tonight when he saw Clinton in the convention hall and Clinton told him he was planning to wear it. Don’t know who gets the credit but we’re both happy. It’s NJDC’s pin.”