‘Very rough’ talk with Netanyahu referenced in new Clinton email dump
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‘Very rough’ talk with Netanyahu referenced in new Clinton email dump

But transcript of phone call is blacked out; other releases from presidential contender’s emails relate to Barak, Livni

Lee Gancman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 20, 2012. (Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets then-US secretary of state Hillary Clinton at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, November 20, 2012. (Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty Images)

The US State Department on Friday publicized 562 more emails written by Hillary Clinton during her 2009-2013 term as secretary of state, including some relating to Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One email is a transcript of a telephone conversation between Clinton and Netanyahu and bearing only the subject line “very rough.” After the two greet each other, however, the rest of the document is blocked out with the word “page denied” written across the page in large letters, meaning that it has remained classified.

In another email Clinton talks about an interview given by the former Israeli national security adviser Uzi Arad to the Ynet news site in 2012, discussing reports that Arad had been forced to resign following suspicions on the part of the Shin Bet security service that he was responsible for leaking information. “You should get whole, translated article. US press should report asap,” Clinton said.

During the correspondence, an aide to Clinton contended that Netanyahu had tried to dismiss the claims “with a story published by the Jerusalem Post, right-wing Likud organ,” and writing to Clinton, “Holy Moly! What more can you find out about this and why Arad had to resign?”

An email from January 17, 2011, from former US ambassador in Israel Martin Indyk to senior Clinton aides addressed Ehud Barak’s split from the Labor Party and possible ramifications for the peace process.

“Initial assessment of Barak’s preemptive strike on the Labor Party is that it stabilizes Bibi’s coalition and eliminates any remaining moderating influence of Barak,” it said.

“The coalition math leaves Bibi with 5 more votes for his coalition than if Labor had forced Barak to leave the government. On the other hand, Barak and his 4 followers will not dare leave the government now for fear of being consigned to oblivion. Of course [Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor] Lieberman or [the] Shas [party] can bring the government down at any time so Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] remains dependent on them.

“This is exacerbated by Tzipi’s withdrawing of any potential safety net for Bibi,” continued Indyk, referring to Tzipi Livni, then still with the Kadima party. “She is now intent on bringing the government down and has convinced [Shaul] Mofaz to stick with her (especially because with Barak velcroed to Bibi, there’s no place for Mofaz in the government). So, bottom line, the already dismal prospects for a peace breakthrough just grew dimmer. This is not Bibi’s spin. His line is that this will prove to Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] that the Israeli government will run its course and therefore he is better off negotiating with it than waiting another 2 years.”

Supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders cheer on their presidential candidates before entering a caucus site during the Nevada Democratic caucus, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders cheer on their presidential candidates before entering a caucus site during the Nevada Democratic caucus, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Another email included in Friday’s release, sent by Livni to Clinton in 2011, included suggestions as to what the US should do to prevent terror groups from taking advantage of democratic elections, like Hamas did in Gaza.

“I discussed my frustration that in the case of Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, the international community had limited its definition of democracy to the technical conduct of voting and failed to insist that those who sought the benefits of the democratic process accept its underlying principles as well. The result, as you know, was to give a measure of democratic legitimacy and power to forces that were plainly not committed to democratic principles and that continue to pose a danger to their own societies and to their neighbors,” said Livni.

The releases constitute a continuing headache for the Clinton presidential bid, as the emails were kept on a private server set up by the former secretary of state that was kept outside the government’s information security regime.

The 1,116 pages made public Friday bring the total page count of released Clinton emails to 46,946.

The State Department plans to finish making her emails public on February 29, a day before the critical Super Tuesday primaries.

Times of Israel staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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