Hillary And The OU - Editorial

The Jewish Press - December 3, 1999

On December 14, New York Senatorial candidate Hillary Clinton will soon be appearing at what is being billed as a private meeting with the officers of the Orthodox Union. As is well known, The Jewish Press has regularly questioned the wisdom of major Jewish groups giving those who take positions most of us disagree with a virtual free ride by allowing them to give speeches or accept awards without a public confrontation on the issues. They, and everyone else, are left with the feeling that maybe the objectionable stances are not all that important. Yet, while not every issue is properly a litmus test, it is not helpful if contrary views are left unremarked, even if the venue is not an appropriate one for challenge.

In any event, we believe the upcoming session can make a valuable contribution, not so much as a way of drawing Mrs. Clinton out on the various issues, since we are certain that she will have very carefully prepared her answers to questions to which her staff and friends at the Orthodox Union will have alerted her. Rather, we believe it would be salutary if the OU officers resolved to register their positions on such matters as Jerusalem, settlements, Palestinian statehood and Jonathan Pollard, so that despite her wiggling answers, she will not get any misimpressions about where they stood and how her answers were received.

Events with high personages, no matter how staged, are tricky affairs and what we suggest will by no means be a simple task. This is particularly so with the Orthodox Union, given the key position of David Luchins as a senior officer of the OU and also as an adviser to Mrs. Clinton. Who among us can forget the way in which he maneuvered the OU last summer into providing a forum for Mrs. Clinton to appear as having split with her husband on Jerusalem when, in truth, as The Jewish Press pointed out, she merely restated his position?

Finally, in addition to the individual issues, we hope the Orthodox Union officers are up to tackling what we believe to be at the heart of things. It will be recalled that after waffling about why she sat mute when Mrs. Arafat unfurled her "poison gas" calumny - she first claimed that the translation wasn't clear - she said that she didn't want to do anything that could disrupt the "peace process." We hope that the officers of the Orthodox Union will finally be able to convey to the First Lady that while we are all anxious for peace between Israel and its neighbors, the "peace process" has not assumed a life of its own. It must be viewed in the context of the reality of the negativity toward Israel which drives the Palestinians, as reflected by Mrs. Arafat's invective. It must be made clear that American Jews will not be part of a process that pushes Israel toward an agreement at any cost.

See Also:
  • Hillary's Camp Weighing Clemency for Pollard
  • Hillary Waffles; OU Postures: Source: CBS News

  • Return to Senate Race page