Democratic Party video touts Clinton role in Gaza truce

At party’s convention, ex-secretary of state cites 2012 Israel-Hamas ceasefire as a major foreign policy feat.

Screen grab from Hillary Clinton''s ''67'' video
The 2012 Gaza truce is the highlight of a Clinton PR video [Democratic National Convention]

In a video screened at the Democratic National Convention shortly before she secured the party’s White House nomination, Hillary Clinton has said her role in achieving a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas – in 2012 after more than a 100 Palestinian civilians were killed – was one of her greatest foreign policy accomplishments.

Tuesday’s five-minute PR video attempted to show some of Clinton’s biggest feats as the 67th secretary of state, from 2009 to 2013, and also looked at her role in addressing climate change and advocating women’s rights.

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Attempting to highlight Clinton’s presidential credentials, early on in the video, Shimon Peres, Israel’s former president, says “She [Hillary Clinton] understands that peace calls for patience,” as Israeli fighter jets drop bombs on Gaza City and large explosions can be heard.

The video then cuts to Clinton shaking hands with Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, as a ceasefire agreement is reached between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group which governs Gaza.

The ceasefire came after eight days of fighting between the two sides that resulted in more than 100 Palestinian civilians’ deaths and the destruction of nearly 100 schools.

The conflict, which Israel called Operation Pillar of Defence, started on November 14, 2012, when Israel killed Ahmed Jabari, a Hamas military chief in Gaza, in a targeted air strike on his car in Gaza City.

Hamas responded by firing a barrage of rockets at nearby Israeli towns.

Jake Sullivan, a former director of policy planning for the state department, says in the video that “the secretary really had steel in her spine, and stood up, and the conflict stopped, and a wider war was averted”.

Iran sanctions

The PR video also says that Clinton was instrumental in convincing the UN to enact sanctions on Iran to halt its nuclear programme. The sanctions were finally lifted earlier this year after the West had long accused Iran of using its programme to build a bomb. Iran had claimed it was only for energy and medical purposes.

“She had to go around the world, twisting arms, getting every major economy on planet Earth on board,” Sullivan says.

The cost of the sanctions was huge on Iran’s economy, with the country suffering double-digit inflation and high unemployment rates for most of the past decade.

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Israel criticised the lifting of the sanctions, saying the world should not be “blinded” by Iran’s efforts to halt nuclear activity.

Clinton, who is the first woman to be nominated by a major party in America’s 240-year-old history, has promised to tackle income inequality and rein in Wall Street if she becomes president.

Clinton’s campaign now hopes to move past the dissent that marked the convention’s opening day on Monday when supporters of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary rival, repeatedly interrupted proceedings with boos and chants of “Bernie”.

Sanders took the DNC podium on Monday to urge his supporters to come together and vote for Clinton.

Sanders’ endorsement was a striking parallel to the role Clinton played eight years ago when she stepped to the microphone on the convention floor in support of her former rival, Barack Obama.

Source: Al Jazeera