Clinton Calls for Strengthening of Ties

Former Secretary of State dismisses tensions between Washington and Jerusalem, says cooperation must be expanded.

Ben Ariel ,

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on Friday night at the Saban Forum in Washington and said that her country should strengthen its ties with Israel.

Clinton dismissed reports of tensions between Jerusalem and Washington, saying the cooperation between the two countries is "quite extraordinary" and citing "funding of the Iron Dome, the funding of other military needs and equipment, the continuing strategic consultation" as evidence.

“No one can argue with the commitment of this administration to Israel’s security,” said Clinton, who added that nevertheless, the cooperation must be expanded, "regardless of the political back and forth between two raucous democracies."

The comments come amid continuing tensions between Israel and the United States, which came to a peak in October when journalist Jeffrey Goldberg published comments by unnamed officials in the Obama administration, made up of a series of derogatory names and insults directed at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, including descriptions such as “chickens**t” and “Aspergery”.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later phoned Netanyahu and apologized for the harsh comments about him, making clear that the remarks do not reflect the position of the American government.

Touching on the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, which were recently extended until June, Clinton said, “The international sanctions have had the effect that we’d hoped for on Iran. The extension of the talks will most likely be a period during which the sanctions will hold.”

She expressed support for the "no deal over a bad deal" view, saying that a deal with Iran needs to "verifiably (close) all of Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon… including covert efforts."