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Written by Marni Mandell, on behalf of Democrats Abroad-Israel

marni_mandellAs an American living in Israel with Israeli citizenship, I confess to caring more about Israel’s future first on my list of priorities these days. I care about the future well-being of my family here, and about my future children. I care about our security, our ability to walk our streets without fear. I deeply care for our ability to put our children on a bus to school or to the army, and be assured that they will go and return, free of harm’s way.

I also care about our humanity. I care about teaching my children the American values that I grew up with that are the bedrock of the country from where I came – the values of equality, individualism, progress and change.

And it is for these reasons that I feel so strongly about casting my vote, as an American citizen living in Israel and dual Israeli citizen, for Hillary Clinton.

This election is a call, not only for a presidential candidate, it is a call for values. It is an election that will brand society, and all those who do or do not vote, as to whether we are voting for a candidate with whose values we align ourselves. It is therefore incumbent upon us to vote with those values in mind – and to not allow complacency or laziness to impede our ability to understand that this election, of all elections in history, is the one that will define us as American citizens.

Hillary Clinton is not only the right choice – she is the only choice.

As an Israeli citizen, I am proud that in her career of more than 25 years in public service she has stood up for Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish country in peace.

In each of her years in the State department, Secretary Clinton advocated for successively increased levels in aid for Israel’s defense and security. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton reaffirmed America’s commitment to supporting Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge by requesting increased assistance for Israel every year – and was instrumental ensuring that a 20% annual increase in aid to Israel was passed.

She led international efforts to pass UN Security Council Resolution 1929, which imposed the harshest sanctions on Iran in history. And, likewise, she called out the UN Human Rights Council for its anti-Israel bias in issuing the Goldstone Report. Importantly, Secretary Clinton has stood against all Palestinian efforts to unilaterally declare statehood outside of the context of negotiations with Israel and recognizes that it is only through negotiation that a two-state solution will be achieved.

Over the last 30 years, Hillary built relationships with Israelis that serve as the foundation of her beliefs that Israel is America’s #1 partner and ally in the Middle East. It is for this reason that she is committed to enforcing the nuclear agreement with Iran, and will not hesitate to confront them militarily if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon in violation of the agreement. I am encouraged and reassured by her outlook of “distrust and verify” when it comes to enforcement of the nuclear agreement with Iran and has committed to raise international pressure on Iran to end its support for terrorist proxies that threaten Israel.

And while I will vote for her because of her support for Israel, the place I call home, here are more reasons why I will vote for her:

Hillary is the most qualified candidate in history to run for the presidency of the United States. She has held more relevant public offices, and has more experience on the national and international stage to be prepared for virtually every circumstance.

As her famous line goes “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights”

  • Hillary recognizes that the health and well being of every family are tied to childcare, equal pay and paid leave. Amazingly, Israel has the upper hand here – and Clinton understands that the US can no longer trail the vast majority developed nations.
  • Hillary understands that to be President, she also has to be a politician – with all of the pluses and minuses that come with it. She has worked across the aisle countless time to get legislation passed – and she will do that as President.
  • Hillary has been a strong advocate for LGBT rights throughout her career – not only in the US, but around the world.
  • Hillary has written and understands policy better than anyone on Capital Hill. She knows how to make government work.
  • Hillary understands the strength that immigrants have long brought to the United States of America, and she wants to create comprehensive immigration reform that aligns US policy with these values.

So, as American Israelis living in Israel, we can stand strong knowing that our security is safe in Hillary’s hands, and that our values are in her heart.

This election is critical – be counted.

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