POSTED: Friday, Feb. 2, 1 p.m.Palestinians have done little to remove hateful rhetoric against Jews and Israel from their schoolbooks despite international attention to the problem, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton told guests at Thursday’s AIPAC Northeast Region dinner.
Before hundreds of Israel supporters and activists at the Marriot Marquis in Manhattan, New York’s junior senator and Democratic presidential hopeful promised to increase awareness of the issue.
“In 1999, I raised the problem of anti-Semitism in Palestinian textbooks,” said Clinton, referring to her efforts as first lady. “Now eight years, later we continue to hear reports that the textbooks have not been changed. I will be doing an event in Washington in the Senate next week to highlight the anti-Semitism and anti-Israel rhetoric that is still part of the curriculum.”
Clinton also made headlines by insisting that “no option can be taken off the table” in thwarting Iran’s attempt to become a nuclear power. “We need to use every tool at our disposal, including diplomatic and economic in addition to the threat and use of military force,” she said.
She also emphasized that the U.S. must continue to demand that Hamas completely renounce violence and recognize Israel before it can be viewed as a legitimate peace partner by the U.S. and Israel.
The event was clearly an important venue for Clinton, who has worked hard to overcome a mixed reputation on Israel since her days as first lady, while earning high marks as a senator. Clinton was stuck in Washington Thursday awaiting a Senate vote to raise the minimum wage, and was prepared to address the gathering via satellite.
For most of the day it was not known when the votes would be cast. But Clinton said her worries were eased when she received a call from an AIPAC representative informing her that the vote would be at 5:30, allowing her to catch a 7 p.m. shuttle.
“Your intelligence sources are better than anything we have in Washington,” she joked during her 8:30 p.m. address.