During this election season, American voters have been forced to face an unappealing ultimatum primarily between two crooked candidates: a hateful orange ignoramus and a shady politician with a long resume of qualifications.
For anyone who isn’t swimming in a sea of white privilege, the options are that shady politician, a third-party candidate, or simply not voting at all. Fear tactics have convinced many to vote for the first option: Hillary Clinton. Voters who care about Palestine feel particularly conflicted about giving her their vote due to her history of foreign policies and current anti-BDS, pro-Israel platform.
Yesterday, sources released decade-old audio footage of the former Secretary of State once again revealing her true colors regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In a room full of Jewish Press staffers, Clinton expressed her belief that the United States should have gotten involved in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections, which gave Hamas a majority of 74 seats to Fatah’s 45 seats.
“I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake. And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win,” Clinton expressed in the audio footage.
We all know what happened after that election. The United States, which supported elections as the ultimate expression of democracy, rejected the results of the Palestinian elections and refused to have relations with a government that included Hamas.
This latest revelation, while being clearly outrageous in its blatant disregard for the basic tenets of popular sovereignty and democracy itself, may not ultimately surprise voters. After all, Clinton has a long-standing record of support for military intervention that includes voting to invade Iraq, regime change in Libya, and proposed covert action providing weapons to Syrian rebel groups.
What this leaked audio footage does show is that, as much as voters may try to convince themselves that she is the better and only option to vote for on November 8, one thing is clear: Hillary Clinton does not care for Palestinian democracy or dignity, and has not for a long time.
And since the United States is supposed to be the main peace broker in talks between Palestine and its occupier, it’s deeply disturbing to think that the person who will lead this nation during the process will be one who believes in Palestinian autonomy only when it is puppeteered by the United States. That’s what is also troubling: when Clinton says she’s a proponent of the two-state solution, what does she really mean? The released audio footage indicates that the only Palestinian she is okay with is one that maintains the current unequal power structure of occupation, institutional and societal racism, poverty, harassment, unemployment, land confiscations, and the long-standing denial of civil and human rights.
Palestinian-Americans and our allies are far from anything remotely similar to Trump supporters. But to deny the issues that Clinton’s privileged positions present, is to deny our right to advocate for an equal, justice, autonomous, and dignified Palestine.