Hillary and Hadassah a perfect match

Machlokes / Controversy



Jewish World Review / July 20, 1999 /7 Av, 5759

Szold, Hadassah founder
Hillary and Hadassah
a perfect match


By Don Feder

AMERICANS FOR A SAFE ISRAEL and the Zionist Organization of America are fuming over Hadassah giving its Henrietta Szold Award to Hillary Rodham Clinton. Personally, I think Hillary and Hadassah are a perfect match.

Today, members of the pro-Israel groups will burn their Hadassah membership cards at the organization's New York headquarters.

They urge Hadassah to remember its Zionist roots and reconsider the honor. Unfortunately, the Jewish women's group has subordinated Zionism to feminism. Its Hillary adoration is but the latest symptom of an accelerated leftward drift.

Still, it seems bizarre for a group calling itself "The Women's Zionist Organization of America" to honor the PLO poster girl. Rachel Lewin, the founder of a nursing school in Jerusalem and the 1943 recipient of the Szold Award, indicts the first lady as "an outspoken enemy of Israel."

Last week, with an eye to New York's Jewish vote, the Mrs. Clinton proclaimed Jerusalem the "eternal and indivisible capital of Israel." But a year ago, she was pushing a Palestinian state -- whose architects claim Jerusalem as their future capital.

Econophone A state of Palestine "would serve the long-term interests of peace in the Middle East," Hillary then observed.

Downsizing Israel to a nation 9 miles wide at its waist, bordering an independent PLO-Hamas enclave, would be as conducive to peace as making Libya and North Korea permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Mrs. Clinton's enthusiasm for the Arab cause goes much further back. Investigative writer Evan Gahr disclosed that when Hillary was chairman of the New World Foundation in the 1980s, this "sugar daddy to virtually every ultra-left organization under the sun" gave $15,000 to a Boston-based outfit, which in turn funded PLO-affiliated groups on the West Bank.

At the White House, Mrs. Clinton has entertained a steady stream of apologists for terrorism and Israel bashers, including leaders of the American Muslim Council, which anoints Hamas a "freedom fighting organization."

One of the first lady's favorite Arab-American activists, and a frequent White House guest, is Salam Al-Marayati, head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Al-Marayati says Israel was established by "terrorism" and follows policies of "racism and apartheid." He condones car bombs as the work of unfortunates who "are pushed to despair."

These views forced House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt to withdraw Al- Marayati's nomination for an anti-terrorism task force. But they haven't affected Hillary's friendship with Al-Marayati and his wife, Laila, who received a presidential appointment to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

If Mrs. Clinton does run, perhaps Al-Marayati will campaign with her in Borough Park and Flatbush.

Hadassah will not be deterred from honoring Hezbollah Hillary at its July 25-28 convention. Like the first lady, the group believes it takes a village -- populated with radical feminists -- to remake society.

Hadassah is high on reproductive rights. It "deplored" the Supreme Court's Casey decision, which provided for such modest restraints as parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

In 1997, Hadassah chose Phyllis Chesler as the first scholar of its International Research Institute on Women. Chesler's 1972 book ("Women and Madness") sets forth the thesis that marriage literally drives women nuts.

In the act of procreation, men "colonize a woman's body," Chesler wrote. These are views the average Hadassah member might find a bit outre.

Hadassah also signed on to the late Bella Abzug's Contract With Women of the USA, which grew out of the 1996 U.N. Women's Conference in Beijing. This Hillarian manifesto endorsed pay equity, supported hiring quotas and called for a "gender-fair multicultural curricula" in the schools.

It also demanded drastic cuts in defense spending and converting many military facilities to "socially productive purposes," which, noted the Jewish paper the Forward, "would leave America and Israel vulnerable to international enemies."

And Hadassah has the chutzpah to call itself a Zionist organization?

Maybe next year, Hadassah will honor Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman (mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing) if he'll just come around on abortion. In the meantime, next week it will glorify an ideological terrorist to further the feminist cause.


JWR contributor Don Feder's regular column can be accessed by clicking here.


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©1999, Creators Syndicate