Today, Democratic Majority for Israel launched a first-of-its-kind online resource for primary voters to better understand and evaluate each Democratic presidential candidate’s position on Israel.
Democratic Majority for Israel asked each of the Democrats running for president to send us whatever they wanted voters know about their views on Israel. Thirteen candidates provided DMFI with material, and the content they sent is featured in a new election resource section on DMFI’s website. The online tool also includes a searchable archive of news articles that discuss candidates’ public statements about Israel and the region.
“We are delighted that so many presidential campaigns were eager to share their Israel policy positions with us and with pro-Israel Democrats across the country,” said Democratic Majority for Israel President and CEO Mark Mellman. “Despite President Trump’s efforts to make support for Israel a wedge issue in our party, the responses we received make clear that Democratic presidential candidates overwhelmingly favor a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, are committed to Israel’s security, and support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
“This new online resource will be a vital tool for Democratic voters who want to be informed about foreign policy issues and the U.S.-Israel alliance. We urge those who are interested to check it out on our website,” Mellman added.
To date, thirteen candidates provided material to Democratic Majority for Israel: Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Cory Booker, Governor Steve Bullock, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Representative John Delaney, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Representative Tim Ryan, Senator Bernie Sanders, Former Representative Joe Sestak, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
DMFI reached out to every major Democratic presidential campaign for this project. The following did not respond to our several requests: Senator Michael Bennet, Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro and Philanthropist Tom Steyer.
Highlights from the candidates’ statements as provided to DMFI:
Vice President Joe Biden
“Israel is stronger and more secure today because of the unprecedented commitment the Obama-Biden administration showed to Israel’s security—including championing the life-saving Iron Dome system, ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge, and signing an historic new 10-year security agreement, the largest in the history of our two nations.”
“…[Biden] has long championed a two-state solution that results in a secure, democratic and Jewish State of Israel living in peace and dignity alongside a Palestinian State. He has never hesitated to speak out against policy choices and actions taken by either side that imperil the possibility of a peaceful outcome for all parties.”
“Joe Biden believes the fight to combat the insidious evil of anti-Semitism is the responsibility of each of us, and that when we fail to speak out, our silence is complicity. That includes fighting efforts to marginalize or isolate Israel at the United Nations and on the global stage, and opposing the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel.”
Senator Cory Booker
“Israel is America’s closest strategic partner in the world’s most unstable region–a dependable ally that shares our values and the vision of a Middle East with peace and security for all.”
“My administration will demonstrate a unified front in the United States’ support for Israel. We will be unshakeable in our affirmation of Israel’s right to exist and always support its right to defend itself against terrorism and those that seek its destruction. Human rights must be a central tenet of our foreign policy and that means upholding the human rights of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. I believe the surest way to achieve this outcome is a two-state solution in which both Israelis and Palestinians can find justice and self-determination.…I will be committed to building upon the longstanding bipartisan support for a two-state solution to the conflict so that both Palestinians and Israelis can live side by side in peace with dignity and security.”
Governor Steve Bullock
“Governor Bullock will work to ensure that Israel maintains its military advantage to confront these threats. Improving trade and continuing scientific and cultural cooperation are also key elements of the U.S.-Israel relationship, and Governor Bullock will also work to strengthen these ties.”
“Governor Bullock…personally witnessed how fundamental the U.S.-Israel relationship is to vital American interests, and as President he will build on this important relationship.”
“As President, Governor Bullock will re-start efforts to build a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israel challenge. This includes restoring humanitarian aid to ensure access to electricity and clean water for Palestinians. The status quo is not acceptable to either Israelis, who live under constant threat of rocket attacks, or the Palestinian people, who seek control over their own destiny.”
“…Governor Bullock believes it important to reject ill-conceived, negative proposals such as the BDS movement. Instead, the U.S. should look for more constructive ways to jumpstart peace in the region.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar
“Senator Klobuchar believes that Israel is one of America’s strongest and most enduring allies and a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. She is committed to fighting for a strong U.S. — Israel relationship and a secure Israel. And she will also get back to a meaningful peace process that combines — not separates — the political and economic tracks, has buy-in from Israelis, Palestinians, and the Arab world, and ultimately leads to direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians themselves that can lead to a two-state solution.”
Former Representative Beto O’Rourke
“The United States must support Israel’s security. Hezbollah and Hamas have thousands of missiles aimed at Israel and continue to call for its destruction. Iran is establishing itself in Syria and Lebanon as a destabilizing force. Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself against all of these threats.”
“In order to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns and to realize the safety and aspirations of the Palestinian people, Beto supports a two-state solution which the parties directly negotiate themselves. Beto also supports continued U.S. engagement and leadership in that process, as our strong relationship with Israel is key to achieving that outcome. Any final outcome will have to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish democratic state, with secure and defensible borders, and will ensure the full human rights of everyone in the region, with peace for both the people of Israel and the people of Palestine.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren
“I am committed to Israel’s security and legitimacy, and to cooperating closely on common threats we face from Iran and from terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and ISIS. But we cannot emphasize our deep bonds to Israel while ignoring the basic humanity of Palestinians. We must also commit to ensure the well-being, rights, and freedom of the Palestinian people.
The way we respect all parties is through a two-state solution — an outcome that’s good for U.S. interests, good for Israel’s security and its future, and good for Palestinian dignity and self-determination. To achieve this, there must be an end to the Israeli occupation and the creation of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel.”
“I will oppose incitement to violence and support for terrorism by Palestinian extremists like Hamas. And I will make clear my unequivocal opposition to Israeli settlement activity and to any moves in the direction of annexation of the West Bank.”