Hillary Clinton Slams BDS Movement as "No Path to Peace" for Israelis and Palestinians

Hillary Clinton Slams BDS Movement as "No Path to Peace" for Israelis and Palestinians
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Hillary Clinton believes BDS is BS — and it won't solve anything.

The Democratic presidential frontrunner took off on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement protesting Israeli policy in a letter ahead of a major meeting of the United Methodist Church, to which she belongs.

Read more: Swing State Polls Show Election Will Be No Cakewalk for Hillary Clinton

"I believe that BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. This is not the path to peace," Clinton wrote to the leaders of the Israel Action Network and the Jewish Federations of North America.

"I remain convinced that Israel's long-term security and future as a Jewish state depends on having two states for two peoples," the former secretary of state said.  "But that can only be achieved through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians; it cannot be imposed from the outside or by unilateral actions."

Source: Amr Nabil/AP

The BDS campaign urges nations and businesses not to work with Israel based on the argument that it is engaging in "ethnic cleansing, colonization, [and] racial discrimination" against Palestinians.

The United Methodist Church General Conference opens Tuesday in Portland, Oregon. On the agenda: Consideration of divestment from Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola, three companies pro-Palestinian activists say have reaped profits from Israeli operations in the West Bank.

The Presbyterian Church and the United Church of Christ previously voted to divest from Israel.

Support for Israel as a democratic U.S. ally in the Middle East has long been a stump staple for American politicians.

Clinton has spoken against BDS before, including in a March address to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee. In that speech, she called the movement "alarming" and charged its proponents with having "demonized Israeli scientists and intellectuals, even students."

Clinton further wrote in her recent letter:

Israel is a vibrant democracy in a region dominated by autocracy, and it faces existential threats to its survival. Fighting for Israel isn't just about policy; it is a personal commitment to the friendship between our peoples and our vision for peace and security.

Particularly at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world, we need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism has no place in any civilized society — not in America, not in Europe, not anywhere. 

Clinton and primary rival Bernie Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president of the United States if elected, have clashed on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Sanders has described himself as "100% pro-Israel," while saying the Palestinians should be treated with "respect and dignity."

A Pew Research Center study published May 5 noted that "far more Clinton supporters sympathize with Israel (47%) than the Palestinians (27%). Sanders backers are statistically divided, with 39% sympathizing more with the Palestinians and 33% more with Israel."