Bill Clinton said U.S. citizens who broke the law smuggling guns to the nascent Jewish state proved there are times when it’s acceptable to break the law.
“Once in a while it’s worth risking your neck to make sure nobody sinks just because the rules are rigged against them,” the former U.S. president said Wednesday to raucous applause at a Washington dinner honoring Jimmy Hoffa, the legendary Teamsters leader who facilitated such smuggling.
U.S. authorities at the time banned the sales of guns to any parties to the conflict, placing the struggling Jewish state at a disadvantage over enemies that had standing armies.
The fund-raising dinner for the Yitzhak Rabin Center raised over $2 million and showered honors on the children of Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975, and the children of his associate in the arms-smuggling enterprise, Hank Greenspun, a Nevada real estate and newspaper magnate who died in 1989.
Clinton remembered Rabin as a leader who understood that Israel would not achieve security “unless a just and lasting peace could be achieved for the Palestinians and their children too.”