With the Democratic primaries approaching, and the race for Presidency only a year away, how do the top Democratic candidates feel about Israel? According to a Real Clear Politics average, Joe Biden is currently leading with 27 percent of the vote followed by Elizabeth Warren with 23 percent of the vote and Bernie Sanders who polls at 19 percent. The chances are most Jews voting blue are choosing between one of the three leading candidates.
Joe Biden – The former Vice President clearly expresses the strain on Israelis when he says, “the constant fear of attack is real.” He also recognizes the importance of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state because Biden sees it as “the only ultimate guarantor of security of the Jewish people the world over.” Furthermore, Biden sees the relationship between the United States and Israel as more than transactional. He recognizes the similar Democratic culture between the two nations and the importance of maintaining a strong relationship. Biden sees a two-state solution as the only option to the conflict but has not hesitated to comment on any actions by either side that does not support peace.
Elizabeth Warren – Warren believes that a strong relationship with Israel is integral as we share many common interests and values. She values the well-being and rights of the Palestinian people calling for the creation of a “sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip living alongside Israel” and “end Israeli occupation.” Warren blames the difficulty of reaching a two-state solution on “President Trump’s reckless policies, the policies of the Netanyahu government, and extremist groups such as Hamas.” The US’ role in all of this, Warren believes, is to be a “credible mediator.”
Bernie Sanders – Sanders would be the first Jewish President, if elected, and supports a two-state solution. He noted that “the United States will continue its unwavering commitment to the safety of the State of Israel, but we must also be clear that peacefully resolving this conflict is the best way to ensure the long-term safety of both peoples, and for making America more secure.” Sanders takes a more liberal view on Israel than the other two main candidates. He has stressed the importance of viewing the Middle Eastern Conflict on a “level playing field” and not being favorable to one country over another.
Assuming one of the three candidates above will be facing incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, we know that the US will be supporting a two-state solution. The conditions of the relationship vary drastically among the three candidates. When comparing, Biden has more of a right-wing perspective on Israel and unlike Senator Warren, he does not prioritize the rights of the Palestinians. Warren seems devoted to finding a peaceful solution and ending the conflict while maintaining a very neutral position throughout.
Though I personally am not a fan of the President, his views on Israel have been adequate. It is clear that the future of our executive office sees Israel in a positive light, something that is more important than ever with the rising number of anti-Semitic hate crimes.