, , , , ,


‘We should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win’

On September 5, 2006, Eli Chomsky was an editor and staff writer for the Jewish Press, and Hillary Clinton was running for a shoo-in re-election as a U.S. senator. Her trip making the rounds of editorial boards brought her to Brooklyn to meet the editorial board of the Jewish Press.

The tape was never released and has only been heard by the small handful of Jewish Press staffers in the room. According to Chomsky, his old-school audiocassette is the only existent copy and no one has heard it since 2006, until today when he played it for the Observer.


The tape is 45 minutes and contains much that is no longer relevant, such as analysis of the re-election battle that Sen. Joe Lieberman was then facing in Connecticut. But a seemingly throwaway remark about elections in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority has taken on new relevance amid persistent accusations in the presidential campaign by Clinton’s Republican opponent Donald Trump that the current election is “rigged.”

Speaking to the Jewish Press about the January 25, 2006, election for the second Palestinian legislative election (the legislature of the Palestinian National Authority), Clinton weighed in about the result, which was a resounding victory for Hamas (74 seats) over the U.S.-preferred Fatah (45 seats).

Click image below to listen to the audio.


“I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”

Chomsky recalls being taken aback that;

“anyone could support the idea—offered by a national political leader, no less—that the U.S. should be in the business of fixing foreign elections.”

Some eyebrows were also raised when then-Senator Clinton appeared to make a questionable moral equivalency.

Eli Chomsky participated in an interview with Hillary Clinton at the Jewish Press in 2006.

Eli Chomsky (left), photographed today at the Observer offices, participated in an interview with Hillary Clinton at the Jewish Press in 2006.

Regarding capturing combatants in war—the June capture of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas militants who came across the Gaza border via an underground tunnel was very much front of mind—Clinton can be heard on the tape saying, “And then, when, you know, Hamas, you know, sent the terrorists, you know, through the tunnel into Israel that killed and captured, you know, kidnapped the young Israeli soldier, you know, there’s a sense of like, one-upsmanship, and in these cultures of, you know, well, if they captured a soldier, we’ve got to capture a soldier.”

Equating Hamas, which to this day remains on the State Department’s official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations, with the armed forces of a close American ally was not what many expected to hear in the Jewish Press editorial offices, which were then at Third Avenue and Third Street in Brooklyn. (The paper’s office has since moved to the Boro Park section of Brooklyn.) The use of the phrase “these cultures” is also a bit of a head-scratcher.

According to Chomsky, Clinton was “gracious, personable and pleasant throughout” the interview, taking about an hour to speak to, in addition to himself, managing editor Jerry Greenwald, assistant to the publisher Naomi Klass Mauer, counsel Dennis Rapps and senior editor Jason Maoz.

Another part of the tape highlights something that was relatively uncontroversial at the time but has taken on new meaning in light of the current campaign—speaking to leaders with whom our country is not on the best terms. Clinton has presented a very tough front in discussing Russia, for example, accusing Trump of unseemly ardor for strongman Vladimir Putin and mocking his oft-stated prediction that as president he’d “get along” with Putin.

Chomsky is heard on the tape asking Clinton what now seems like a prescient question about Syria, given the disaster unfolding there and its looming threat to drag the U.S., Iran and Russia into confrontation.


“Do you think it’s worth talking to Syria—both from the U.S. point of view and Israel’s point of view?”

Clinton replied, “You know, I’m pretty much of the mind that I don’t see what it hurts to talk to people. As long as you’re not stupid and giving things away. I mean, we talked to the Soviet Union for 40 years. They invaded Hungary, they invaded Czechoslovakia, they persecuted the Jews, they invaded Afghanistan, they destabilized governments, they put missiles 90 miles from our shores, we never stopped talking to them,” an answer that reflects her mastery of the facts but also reflects a willingness to talk to Russia that sounds more like Trump 2016 than Clinton 2016.

This is how news used to be collected.

This is how news used to be collected. – Observer

Shortly after, she said, “But if you say, ‘they’re evil, we’re good, [and] we’re never dealing with them,’ I think you give up a lot of the tools that you need to have in order to defeat them…So I would like to talk to you [the enemy] because I want to know more about you. Because if I want to defeat you, I’ve got to know something more about you. I need different tools to use in my campaign against you. That’s my take on it.”

A final bit of interest to the current campaign involves an articulation of phrases that Trump has accused Clinton of being reluctant to use. Discussing the need for a response to terrorism, Clinton said, “I think you can make the case that whether you call it ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Islamo-fascism,’ whatever the label is we’re going to give to this phenomenon, it’s a threat. It’s a global threat. To Europe, to Israel, to the United States…Therefore we need a global response. It’s a global threat and it needs a global response. That can be the, sort of, statement of principle…So I think sometimes having the global vision is a help as long as you realize that underneath that global vision there’s a lot of variety and differentiation that has to go on.”

It’s not clear what she means by a “global vision” with variety and differentiation, but what’s quite clear is that the then-senator, just five years after her state was the epicenter of the September 11 attacks, was comfortable deploying the phrase “Islamic terrorism” and the even more strident “Islamo-fascism,” at least when meeting with the editorial board of a Jewish newspaper.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address reporters at his hotel suite in Washington, August 31, 2010. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

In an interview before the Observer heard the tape, Chomsky told the Observer that Clinton made some “odd and controversial comments” on the tape. The irony of a decade-old recording emerging to feature a candidate making comments that are suddenly relevant to voters today was not lost on Chomsky, who wrote the original story at the time. Oddly enough, that story, headlined Hillary Clinton On Israel, Iraq And Terror,” is no longer available on JewishPress.com and even a short summary published on the Free Republic site offers a broken link that can no longer surface the story.

“I went to my bosses at the time,” Chomsky told the Observer. “The Jewish Press had this mindset that they would not want to say anything offensive about anybody—even a direct quote from anyone—in a position of influence because they might need them down the road. My bosses didn’t think it was newsworthy at the time. I was convinced that it was and I held onto it all these years.”

Bureau of Counterterrorism

Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.

Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Date Designated



Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)


Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)


Aum Shinrikyo (AUM)


Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)


Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) (IG)




Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)




Kahane Chai (Kach)


Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel)


Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)


National Liberation Army (ELN)


Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)


Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)


Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF)


PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)


Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)


Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)


Shining Path (SL)


al-Qa’ida (AQ)


Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)


Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA)


Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)


Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT)


Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB)


Asbat al-Ansar (AAA)


al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)


Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army (CPP/NPA)


Jemaah Islamiya (JI)


Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ)


Ansar al-Islam (AAI)


Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA)


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (formerly al-Qa’ida in Iraq)


Islamic Jihad Union (IJU)


Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)




Revolutionary Struggle (RS)


Kata’ib Hizballah (KH)


al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)


Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI)


Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)




Army of Islam (AOI)


Indian Mujahedeen (IM)


Jemaah Anshorut Tauhid (JAT)


Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB)


Haqqani Network (HQN)


Ansar al-Dine (AAD)


Boko Haram




al-Mulathamun Battalion


Ansar al-Shari’a in Benghazi


Ansar al-Shari’a in Darnah


Ansar al-Shari’a in Tunisia


ISIL Sinai Province (formally Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis)


al-Nusrah Front


Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC)


Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al Naqshabandi (JRTN)


ISIL-Khorasan (ISIL-K)
5/20/2016 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s Branch in Libya (ISIL-Libya)

Delisted Foreign Terrorist Organizations

Date Removed


Date Orginally Designated


Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine -Hawatmeh Faction



Khmer Rouge



Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front Dissidents



Japanese Red Army



Tupac Amaru Revolution Movement



Revolutionary Nuclei



Armed Islamic Group (GIA)



Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)



Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)



United Self Defense Forces of Colombia



Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N)



Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)


The Bureau of Counterterrorism in the State Department (CT) continually monitors the activities of terrorist groups active around the world to identify potential targets for designation. When reviewing potential targets, CT looks not only at the actual terrorist attacks that a group has carried out, but also at whether the group has engaged in planning and preparations for possible future acts of terrorism or retains the capability and intent to carry out such acts.

Once a target is identified, CT prepares a detailed “administrative record,” which is a compilation of information, typically including both classified and open sources information, demonstrating that the statutory criteria for designation have been satisfied. If the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, decides to make the designation, Congress is notified of the Secretary’s intent to designate the organization and given seven days to review the designation, as the INA requires. Upon the expiration of the seven-day waiting period and in the absence of Congressional action to block the designation, notice of the designation is published in the Federal Register, at which point the designation takes effect. By law an organization designated as an FTO may seek judicial review of the designation in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit not later than 30 days after the designation is published in the Federal Register.

Until recently the INA provided that FTOs must be redesignated every 2 years or the designation would lapse. Under the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), however, the redesignation requirement was replaced by certain review and revocation procedures. IRTPA provides that an FTO may file a petition for revocation 2 years after its designation date (or in the case of redesignated FTOs, its most recent redesignation date) or 2 years after the determination date on its most recent petition for revocation. In order to provide a basis for revocation, the petitioning FTO must provide evidence that the circumstances forming the basis for the designation are sufficiently different as to warrant revocation. If no such review has been conducted during a 5 year period with respect to a designation, then the Secretary of State is required to review the designation to determine whether revocation would be appropriate. In addition, the Secretary of State may at any time revoke a designation upon a finding that the circumstances forming the basis for the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation, or that the national security of the United States warrants a revocation. The same procedural requirements apply to revocations made by the Secretary of State as apply to designations. A designation may be revoked by an Act of Congress, or set aside by a Court order.

Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended

  1. It must be a foreign organization.
  2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)),* or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)),** or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism.
  3. The organization’s terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.

Legal Ramifications of Designation

  1. It is unlawful for a person in the United States or subject to the jurisdiction of the United States to knowingly provide “material support or resources” to a designated FTO. (The term “material support or resources” is defined in 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(1) as ” any property, tangible or intangible, or service, including currency or monetary instruments or financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, expert advice or assistance, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel (1 or more individuals who maybe or include oneself), and transportation, except medicine or religious materials.” 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(2) provides that for these purposes “the term ‘training’ means instruction or teaching designed to impart a specific skill, as opposed to general knowledge.” 18 U.S.C. § 2339A(b)(3) further provides that for these purposes the term ‘expert advice or assistance’ means advice or assistance derived from scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge.’’
  2. Representatives and members of a designated FTO, if they are aliens, are inadmissible to and, in certain circumstances, removable from the United States (see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182 (a)(3)(B)(i)(IV)-(V), 1227 (a)(1)(A)).
  3. Any U.S. financial institution that becomes aware that it has possession of or control over funds in which a designated FTO or its agent has an interest must retain possession of or control over the funds and report the funds to the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Other Effects of Designation

  1. Supports our efforts to curb terrorism financing and to encourage other nations to do the same.
  2. Stigmatizes and isolates designated terrorist organizations internationally.
  3. Deters donations or contributions to and economic transactions with named organizations.
  4. Heightens public awareness and knowledge of terrorist organizations.
  5. Signals to other governments our concern about named organizations.

Revocations of Foreign Terrorist Organizations

The Immigration and Nationality Act sets out three possible basis for revoking a Foreign Terrorist Organization designation:

  1. The Secretary of State must revoke a designation if the Secretary finds that the circumstances that were the basis of the designation have changed in such a manner as to warrant a revocation;
  2. The Secretary of State must revoke a designation if the Secretary finds that the national security of the United States warrants a revocation;
  3. The Secretary of State may revoke a designation at any time.

Any revocation shall take effect on the date specified in the revocation or upon publication in the Federal Register if no effective date is specified. The revocation of a designation shall not affect any action or proceeding based on conduct committed prior to the effective date of such revocation.



Palestinian Authority-Administered Territories * | Country report …

Palestinian National Authority

Foreign Terrorist Organizations – US Department of State

Terrorist Exclusion List – US Department of State

Terrorism Designations FAQs – US Department of State

Open Resource [pdf]

HRC Determine Who Win (1) by Observer | Free … – SoundCloud

Palestinian legislative election, 2006

Palestinian Elections

Hillary in 2006 on Palestinian election

National Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs

Exclusive: Hillary Clinton On Israel, Iraq And Terror – Free Republic

Jewish Bubba: April 2016

Hillary Clinton celebrates Israeli war crimes – World Socialist Web Site

Hamas celebrates election victory | World news | The Guardian

TIMELINE: Key events since 2006 Hamas election victory | Reuters


Terror Tots: We Must Prepare for the Child-Fighters of ISIS – Yahoo

(Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner.)

Jared Kushner: The Donald Trump I Know | |

Jared Kushner

Palestinian Parliamentary Elections 2006 – GlobalSecurity.org

The Jewish Press » » Jason Maoz

For All Jews Voting for Hillary

Palestinian legislative election, 2006

Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism

Palestinian Legislative Council

2006 Palestine Election

The Awareness Center, Inc. (International Jewish Coaltion Against …

The Jewish Press » » Naomi Klass Mauer