Covered her speech here, here, here and here. Caught up with J Street for a response here. I don’t honestly know what I expected, as I wrote this morning. She had a deft moment where she reversed the typical construction on the right for why it’s bad for the U.S. to link the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its interests in the Middle East by making the meta-point that it’s bad to expose daylight between the U.S. and Israel. Or, in other words, Not in fronna de goyim! Clinton is very cultural comfortable with Jews, and speaks both our dialects and our subtexts with fluency.

She didn’t apologize for the settlements flap, nor did she play it up, which is probably what she needed to do. She did, however, reinforce the point that the inexorability of demography threatens Israel’s future as a democratic Jewish state and makes the status quo unsustainable. And she didn’t get much applause for that, although everything she said about Iran met thunderous real-life-retweeting.

Additionally, AIPAC’s Howard Kohr offered a four-point plan for improving Israel’s international diplomatic prestige, and none of those four points include a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Clinton’s effective reply was that of course reaching a two-state solution “will not end all these threats,” but failing to do so “gives extremist foes a pretext to spread violence, instability, and hatred.” It’s a seder-time conversation, to be sure, and those of us in either camp will also disagree about who’s the adult at the table.

Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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