Hillary - Hikind Powwow

NY Jewish Week - April 14, 2000 - Adam Dickter

They are on opposite sides of virtually every issue, from gay rights to school vouchers to Palestinian statehood. But that isn't stopping Hillary Rodham Clinton from reaching out to Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

The first lady and Senate candidate reportedly was to meet with Hikind on Tuesday, but the meeting was cancelled when Hikind's father was hospitalized with pneumonia. Clinton phoned Hikind to inquire about his father's health, sources said, and a meeting was scheduled for after Passover.

Hikind would not comment directly on the report, but said, "If she wants to meet with me to discuss the issues of importance to my community, from Jonathan Pollard to Israel, I would be delighted."

A Clinton spokeswoman, Karen Dunn said, "Hillary looks forward to meeting with him."

Hikind has demonstrated outside Clinton's Midtown campaign office, calling on her to support clemency for Pollard, who gave US secrets to Israel. But the first lady has taken no position on the subject. [Justice4JP note: more accurately, Mrs. Clinton evades the issue by hiding behind Senator Joseph Lieberman's self-serving, politically driven, baseless opposition to Jonathan Pollard's release. See the Lieberman Page.]

About the only thing Clinton and Hikind have in common is their opposition to Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Clinton's republican rival in the Senate Race. Hikind once called Giuliani "the greatest thing that has ever happened to New York," but has since fallen out with the mayor since they took opposite sides in the 1994 gubernatorial race. He has since joined other Democrats in criticizing Giuliani's policies, particularly regarding incidents of police violence.

A Hikind-Clinton meeting could benefit both pols. Although not likely to end criticism of Clinton's Mideast positions in Hikind's orthodox community, it would portray her as willing to listen to other perspectives at a time when she is gaining ground among Jewish voters. And it would bolster Hikind's standing in the Democratic Party, whose support he needs in a bid for higher office in 2001.

See Also:
  • Schwartz Page
  • Lieberman Page