Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton considered a secret plan created by her then-advisers to foment unrest among Palestinian citizens and spark protests in order to push the Israeli government back to the negotiating table, according to emails released as part of the investigation into the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s private email server.
In a Dec, 18, 2011, email former U.S. ambassador to Israel Thomas Pickering suggested that Clinton consider a plan to restart then-stalled peace negotiations by kickstarting Palestinian demonstrations against Israel.
Pickering described the effort as a potential “game changer in the region,” recommending that the United States undertake a clandestine campaign to generate unrest. Clinton requested that his email be printed.
“What will change the situation is a major effort to use non-violent protests and demonstrations to put peace back in the center of people’s aspirations as well as their thoughts, and use that to influence the political leadership,” Pickering wrote.
“This is far from a sure thing, but far, in my humble view, from hopeless,” he continued. “Women can and ought to be at the center of these demonstrations. Many men and others will denigrate the idea. I don’t and I don’t think that was your message.”
Palestinian women, he noted, are less likely than men to resort to violence.
“It must be all and only women. Why? On the Palestinian side the male culture is to use force,” Pickering wrote, comparing the effort to the protests in Egypt that deposed former leader Hosni Mubarak. “Palestinian men will not for long patiently demonstrate — they will be inclined over time and much too soon to be frustrated and use force. Their male culture comes close to requiring it.”
Pickering noted that the administration must keep its role in the demonstration a secret, so as not to aggravate ties with Israel.