Clinton better for the Palestinians than Bernie Sanders

Regarding Middle East foreign policy, Clinton will likely follow general approach that was favoured by Obama, even if she is far more knowledgeable about region.

2016/07/03 Issue: 63 Page: 17

The Arab Weekly
Khairallah Khairallah

One of the positives for Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive nominee for US president for the Democratic Party is that this means that rival candidate Bernie Sanders is, for all intents and purposes, out of the presidential race.

US Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s best chance of reaching the White House would be to contest a presidential election against the left-wing senator from Vermont. What is ironic is that many Arabs backed Sanders on the basis that he is a supporter of the Palestinian cause and has strongly criticised Israeli policies in the past, something that few American politicians dare to do.

The past eight years of the Obama administration clearly demonstrates the United States’ inability to deal with Israel in a way that serves the peace process.

US President Barack Obama began his presidency by pledging that resolving the Palestinian- Israeli issue would be one of his main priorities. Despite putting huge pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu nothing changed and Tel Aviv has continued its restrictive policies that ensure that the two-state solution remains unviable. There can be no independent Palestin­ian state under these conditions.

Now that Clinton has secured enough delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination, her path to the presidential election, and victory, are clear. Whatever happens, Clinton has already made the history books as the first woman to become the presidential nominee of one of America’s two major parties.

If she becomes president, she will be the first woman to lead the world’s last remaining superpower and the second Clinton to be president. This will be no less a history-shattering moment than Obama’s own presidency.

So what can we expect from a President Hillary Clinton? She played a major role in the United States’ rapprochement with Iran during her tenure as secretary of State. She would have been well aware of secret talks between US and Iranian officials that pre­ceded the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015.

Regarding Middle East foreign policy, Clinton will likely follow the general approach that was favoured by Obama, even if she is far more knowledgeable about the region. The main question is: Will President Clinton continue to appease Iran in the same manner that Obama has, includ­ing turning a blind eye to its support for terrorism and regional schemes?

Many say Clinton will not simply replicate Obama’s foreign policies, particularly regarding Iran and the Syrian crisis. There may be some differences but we cannot expect a major radical shift between a future Clinton administration and the current Obama administration.

However, Clinton’s involve­ment in the Obama cabinet has given her important experience, particularly regarding foreign policy and the Middle East. She is well aware of what Iran is doing in the region and its sectarian expansionist project that stretches from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and even into Yemen.

After all this, will Clinton recall the Palestinian cause at a time when few people are concerned about the injustice that the Palestinian people are experienc­ing?

President Bill Clinton played a key role in seeking a Palestinian- Israeli agreement, even if this did not have the desired results. He was instrumental in the 1993 Oslo agreement and the 2000 Camp David summit. Although no final agreement that was acceptable to both sides was forthcoming, there can be no doubt that he truly sought to resolve this. Hillary Clinton was at her hus­band’s side throughout all this.

With Hillary Clinton now in possession of 2,800 delegates — far more than the 2,383 needed to win the nomination — it is clear that she will be the Democratic nominee for president in the November elections. Clinton will not forget the Palestinian cause if she returns to the White House, even if other issues might take precedence.

Khairallah Khairallah is a Lebanese writer.

As Printed
Editors' Picks

The Arab Weekly Newspaper reaches Western & Arabic audience that are influential as well as being affluent.

From Europe to the Middle East,and North America, The Arab Weekly talks to opinion formers and influential figures, providing insight and comment on national, international and regional news through the focus of Arabic countries and community.

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Publisher and Group Executive Editor: Haitham El-Zobaidi, PhD

Editor-in-Chief: Oussama Romdhani

Managing Editor: Iman Zayat

Deputy Managing Editor and Online Editor: Mamoon Alabbasi

Senior Editor: John Hendel

Chief Copy Editor: Richard Pretorius

Copy Editor: Stephen Quillen

Analysis Section Editor: Ed Blanche

East/West Section Editor: Mark Habeeb

Gulf Section Editor: Mohammed Alkhereiji

Society and Travel Sections Editor: Samar Kadi

Syria and Lebanon Sections Editor: Simon Speakman Cordall

Contributing Editor: Rashmee Roshan Lall

Senior Correspondents: Mahmud el-Shafey (London) & Lamine Ghanmi (Tunis)

Regular Columnists

Claude Salhani

Yavuz Baydar


Saad Guerraoui (Casablanca)

Dunia El-Zobaidi (London)

Roua Khlifi (Tunis)

Thomas Seibert (Washington)

Chief Designer: Marwen Hmedi


Ibrahim Ben Bechir

Hanen Jebali

Published by Al Arab Publishing House

Contact editor

Subscription & Advertising:

Tel 020 3667 7249

Mohamed Al Mufti

Marketing & Advertising Manager

Tel (Main) +44 20 6702 3999

Direct: +44 20 8742 9262

Al Arab Publishing House

Kensington Centre

177-179 Hammersmith Road

London W6 8BS , UK

Tel: (+44) 20 7602 3999

Fax: (+44) 20 7602 8778

Follow Us
© The Arab Weekly, All rights reserved