From the Archives: Hillary Lauds Jewish Advocacy for Women, Addresses Peace Process

An unseen video published by the Shalom Hartman Institute on Sunday shows an emotional Hillary Clinton addressing women’s issues and the need to take risks for peace, in an emotional manner, as she addressed a Jewish gathering in Washington, D.C., over two decades ago.

The video, dated September 18, 1995, and digitized from a videotape recording provided to the Hartman Institute by longtime Board member Doug Wilansky, shows Rabbi Prof. David Hartman and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton addressing more than 1,000 women at the Jewish Federation’s Lion of Judah Conference.

During her 26-minute address, Clinton referred to the late Rabbi Hartman’s call to support the Israeli-Palestinian peace process under way at the time. “It is never easy to do what the leadership of your country is attempting to do,” she said. “But as my husband [President Bill Clinton] has said, one of the great challenges we face – not only in the Middle East but in many other parts of the world – is to have the courage to take risks for peace, and I join you in your words of support for what is being attempted and the importance that it holds not only for those of us who care about and support Israel, but for the entire human family.”

Clinton praised the members for committing to bringing respect and dignity to the “work and worth of women and girls, not only on behalf of Jews around the world, but on behalf of what it means to be a human being as we approach the new century.”

Concluding her remarks, Clinton reflected on what may seem to be foretelling the presidential race in 2016. “The insecurity that people live with today, some of it directly related to this knowing sense of meaninglessness in life, makes people vulnerable to all kinds of pulls and pushes that appeal not to their hopes but to their fears,” she said. “That’s why it’s more important than ever that people like us speak out on behalf of a positive vision for the future, hold out the promise of hope – wherever we are; whatever we do, and understand that there are ways in our own lives to build those solid foundations that give people the sense of security that commit them to love and be loved.”

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