(CNSNews.com) – Weeks before the Iran nuclear deal was finalized last summer, a former U.S. ambassador reportedly told a senior Hillary Clinton campaign adviser he was struck by “the depth of antipathy and distrust of President Obama” he encountered among Israeli officials and former officials across the political spectrum, who viewed the president as “‘weak,’ ‘pro-Muslim,’ and ‘anti-Israel.’”
The observation is contained in one of a series of emails purported sent by Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat to Clinton campaign adviser Jake Sullivan, among a batch of leaked Clinton campaign-related emails released by Wikileaks late last week and early this week.
“I was struck in my week in Israel, not only among Israeli officials, but among my friends across the political spectrum (most are former officials) and apolitical relatives, at the depth of antipathy and distrust of President Obama, as ‘weak,’ ‘pro-Muslim,’ and ‘anti-Israel,’” says the email, dated June 28, 2015.
Many of the purported emails from Eizenstat to Sullivan contained advice on how Clinton should respond to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal with Iran, and the troubled Israel-U.S. relationship.
Eizenstat, who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration in various capacities including that of ambassador to the European Union, is co-chair of the Jewish People Policy Institute of Jerusalem, an independent think tank.
Reached by phone on Thursday, he declined to comment on the substance of the emails, or the guidance to the campaign contained in them.
“I’m not going to get into the advice,” he said. “It says what it says, and that’s all I can say. I really don’t want to comment except to say, it is what it is.
On the leak itself, Eizenstat said that “it seems to be part of the Russian intrusion into our election and in that sense it’s unfortunate.” He had “no way of knowing” whether the emails had been altered or tampered with.
Eizenstat’s views on the JCPOA, various emails show, included some of the criticisms raised by opponents of the deal in Israel and the United States, such as concerns that it “does not cover Iran’s ballistic missile program, which would not exist if Iran simply wanted a civilian nuclear program,” that Iran will be “unconstrained” after a 10-15 year expiration period, and that sanctions easing “will transfer billions to Iran and enhance its funding for terrorism and its efforts to gain hegemony in the region.”
His advice to Clinton, via Sullivan, was that she endorse the agreement negotiated by her successor, Secretary of State John Kerry – but not too enthusiastically, and that in doing so, she take a tougher stance than the Obama administration.
“Hillary cannot oppose the [Iran] agreement given her position as the President’s Secretary of State …” said a June 22, 2015 email addressed to Sullivan.
“But she can and should point out concerns with it,” it said. “More broadly, she should appear more muscular [in] her approach than the President’s.”
The email warned that the nuclear deal “could well be a voting issue for many moderates in the Jewish community.” Keep reading