Rockets raining down on Israel from the Gaza Strip and Israeli aircraft bombing Hamas-ruled Gaza in retaliation to the soundtrack of news reports of “panic and fear in the streets of Israel” were the dramatic footage that opened a new video screened Tuesday at the Democratic National Convention extolling Clinton’s record as secretary of state.
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The five-minute video prominently featured both the 2012 Israel-Hamas cease-fire and the sanctions against Iran that led that regime into negotiations over its nuclear program as major Clinton achievements during her tenure leading the State Department from 2009 to 2013.
In the video, retired U.S. General John Allen recalls the U.S. military was “very concerned” over the escalating conflict and shows Clinton being dispatched to the Middle East by President Barack Obama to help. “After intense shuttle diplomacy to Israel, the Palestinian Authority, to Israel – she did it – a cease-fire!” says the accompanying narration.
“The secretary really had steel in her spine, and stood up, and the conflict stopped, and a wider war was averted,” Jake Sullivan, former director of policy planning for the State Department, says in the video, pointing out that Clinton “flew through the night” to conduct the successful shuttle diplomacy with “a small group of people” and “no press.”
Allen said he “truly believed that when she sprinted to the region” it was “her presence with the Israelis and the Egyptians that brought the cease-fire to fruition.”
Lettered on the screen during the segment is the testimonial that “She understands that peace calls for patience,” a quote from former president Shimon Peres.
In the video, titled “67” because Clinton was the 67th secretary of state, the Democratic nominee is also portrayed as playing a heroic role in bringing sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear program, testifying to Congress “that greater costs and pressure in face of its provocative steps” must be imposed on Iran.
The video then told viewers of how Clinton went to countries around the globe, “twisting their arms” to convince them to join the U.S. in enacting sanctions on Iran in opposition to its nuclear program. The video says the sanctions were crucial in getting Iran to negotiate the international agreement on its nuclear program signed last year.
“The agreement that was reached last year to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon wouldn’t have happened without the leverage that Hillary Clinton had so systematically built up during her tenure as secretary of state,” testifies William Burns, former deputy secretary of state.
Over the course of her campaign for the Democratic nomination, Clinton has walked a fine line between taking credit for the success of sanctions, and being closely associated with the Obama administration deal that she supported, but was bitterly opposed by the Israeli government, American Jewish groups and many American politicians.
She told the AIPAC conference that “we must maintain the legal and diplomatic architecture to turn all the sanctions back on if needed,” and that if she is president, “the leaders of Iran will have no doubt that if we see any indication that they are violating their commitment not to seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons, the United States will act to stop it, and that we will do so with force if necessary.”
Along with the two Middle East-related achievements, the video features Clinton’s work as secretary of state on climate change and advocacy for women’s rights.