HomeNovember 2014Rachel Goes Rogue

Rachel Goes Rogue

When I was little, I wanted to be a belly dancer with a degree from Harvard. As I grew up, I realized the world was my oyster, and I would be the first female president. Looking back, these dreams are humorous to me. I went to the Harvard of the West (California State University, Fullerton) and ended up being a prominent figure and ruler of my domain (a teacher with a class of 38 students every period).  So in some skewed way, I achieved all of my first-grade dreams. However, there is a chance for a female president, Hillary Clinton.
Sitting at a Jewish event this week, I was surrounded by politically minded, pro-Israel young professionals. I mentioned Clinton and got mixed reviews. While one person said she was dreadful for Israel, another argued that Clinton was a must-have for America and Israel alike. This is extremely important. Large numbers of American Jews are Democrats. If Hillary runs for office, it is important to know where she stands regarding Israel. And so, like anything else in my life, I dove into the endless information on Clinton’s voting policies and comments on Middle Eastern policy, specifically Israel.
Clinton expressed on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” that Palestinians are trapped by their own leadership. She continued to say, “Unfortunately, it’s a two-pronged trapping that is committed to resistance and violence and therefore their actions are mostly about how do we get new and better missiles to launch them at Israel.” She later continued in that interview to separate the violence, condemning Hamas, but not the Palestinian authority. I find these comments equal to standing on a fence. I wish she’d provide a more solid line as to who has control over the Palestinian territory.
However, in 2006 she did show support at a pro-Israel rally, using words like “solidarity and support.”  This was foiled by her 2011 commentary, a more recent discussion about Jerusalem. An article  in The Sun entitled “Clinton, in a Sharp Turnaround, Warns Against Even Symbolically Recognizing Jerusalem as Capital of Israel,” states, “Secretary of State Clinton, in a sharp departure from her stance when she was a senator, is warning that any American action, even symbolically, toward recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel must be avoided for the reason that it would jeopardize the peace process.” Why are countries afraid of calling Israel’s capital Jerusalem, when in fact, it is? Does Israel find fear in addressing D.C. as the American capital?
It is true: an election year is rounding the corner. As educated OC residents, we need to continue to follow candidates. Israel is not the only concern we American Jews have, but Israel is our homeland. Educating ourselves to make responsible political decisions is a must. Does the dream of the first female president come with a cost to Israel?
If you would like to share your feelings about Clinton’s views on Israel, we at JLife would like your response.
Rachel Schiff is an English teacher who graduated from Cal State Fullerton. She was president of Hillel, a representative of the World Union of Jewish Students and a YLD intern. Currently, she is a Master’s degree student in American Studies with emphasis on Jews in America.


  1. My favorite is that the response to my article was with such vengeance and anger, yet I used sources and did not actually write a Pro-Hillary piece. In fact, I asked why she is unclear about her stance. She says one thing and does another. Clearly people have a strong opinion about her one way or another… The sources both responses in the mag gave are also from right-wing publications. Left-wing do not provide that argument and think Clinton is too supportive of Israel. Her daughter also married a Jewish man… things to STILL continue to think about.


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