Days before President Ahmadinejad arrives in New York to address the United Nations, Senator Clinton is warning that Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and its anti-Israeli rhetoric makes it a danger to the world.
At the annual Israel Bond Dinner yesterday in Manhattan, Mrs. Clinton said America "cannot take any option off the table" in dealing with Iran. She said such measures could include "engaging Iran in ways that might possibly lead to changes in behavior," a position that Senator Obama has advocated.
Ms. Clinton said that Mr. Ahmadinejad intends to "use the General Assembly as a launching pad for his attacks on Israel and the United States," and that "we must raise our voices together in opposition to the message he carries and the threat Iran poses."
"U.S. policy should be unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons," Mrs. Clinton said.
Mrs. Clinton recently pulled out of a protest rally against Mr. Ahmadinejad organized by Jewish groups after Senator McCain's running mate, Governor Palin, indicated she would attend the event as well. Mrs. Clinton's advisers reportedly said that she was concerned that the rally would become a partisan political event. A Web logger for the McCain campaign, Michael Goldfarb, responded with a post on the campaign site berating Mrs. Clinton for allegedly seeking to remove Mrs. Palin from the event as well and challenging Mr. Obama to attend the event. Politico's Ben Smith reported that the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, which organized the rally, has since rescinded its invitation to Mrs. Palin and all other political officials.
The Israel Bond Dinner included speeches from several elected officials, including Rep. Anthony Weiner and the state and city comptrollers, William Thompson Jr. and Thomas DiNapoli. Mr. Thompson said the city's retirement fund is investing $15 million in two-year Israel bonds and Mr. DiNapoli also committed $15 million in state pension money to Israel bonds. Purchasing Israeli bonds has long been a popular means for the Jewish community outside of Israel to support the Jewish state. First issued shortly after the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, the bonds are used to finance infrastructure and capital projects.