To repeat myself from the first post in this series -- I decided not to try to collate any third-party assessment of the candidates and their records relating to Israel. I couldn't do that in the time I left myself. What you see are the candidates own words or the words of their campaigns. Some are excerpts so if you're interested, follow the links.
Governor John Kasich (Republican) -- from campaign site
Renew Our Alliances: There is strength in numbers and consensus, but our allies feel neglected and abused. We must rebuild these critical relationships in order to better advance our national interests the leadership that produces muchneeded global stability. Among other actions, this includes supporting Ukraine in its challenges from Russia, standing by Egypt as it fights terrorist insurgencies from Sinai and Libya, supporting our Pacific allies in the face of Chinese belligerence and supporting Israeli efforts defend itself and oppose Iranian-backed terrorism in the region.
Senator Marco Rubio (Republican) -- from campaign site
We have a national security interest in making sure Israel is strong, and we have a moral obligation to keep the promise made in the wake of the Holocaust for a safe and secure nation for the Jewish people.
Sadly, even as Israelis are facing daily Palestinian terrorist attacks, that commitment to Israel has been lacking from the current administration.
Israel deserves our support and respect. If we are perceived as not standing with Israel, what realistically could any of our other allies expect from us? It’s time to reaffirm our commitment to Israel’s continued strength and prosperity.
- Strengthen the U.S.-Israel Alliance and Israel’s Self-Defense
- Revoke President Obama’s Flawed Iran Deal
- Defend Israel’s Efforts to Combat Terrorism
- Fight Efforts to Delegitimize the Jewish State
- Push to Move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Senator Bernie Sanders (Democrat) -- from campaign site
PREVENTING A NUCLEAR IRAN
The U.S. must do everything it can to make certain that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, that a nuclear Iran does not threaten Israel, and to prevent a nuclear arms race in the region. Sen. Sanders supports the agreement between the U.S., Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program, because it has the best chance of limiting Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon, while avoiding yet another war in the region.
While the agreement is not perfect, it is far better than the path we were on – with Iran developing nuclear weapons and the potential for military intervention by the U.S. and Israel growing greater by the day. If Iran does not live up to the agreement, sanctions can be reestablished and all other options remain on the table. It is incumbent upon us, however, to give the negotiated agreement a chance to succeed, and Sen. Sanders applauds President Obama and Secretary Kerry for their efforts.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been one of the world’s most difficult and intractable disputes for more than sixty years. Moreover, the failure to resolve that crisis has helped fuel other conflicts in the region. Senator Sanders has long supported a two-state solution that recognizes Israel’s right to exist in peace and security, and the Palestinians right to a homeland in which they control their political and economic future.
The most recent violence in Gaza represented a particularly ugly and violent time in the dispute. Senator Sanders strongly condemned indiscriminate rocket fire by Hamas into Israeli territory, and Hamas’ use of civilian neighborhoods to launch those attacks. However, while recognizing that Israel has the right to defend itself, he also strongly condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza as disproportionate and the widespread killing of civilians as completely unacceptable.
The U.S. must play a leading role in creating a two-state solution, which will require significant compromises from both sides. The Palestinians must unequivocally recognize Israel’s right to exist, and hold accountable those who have committed terrorist acts. The Israelis must end the blockade of Gaza, and cease developing settlements on Palestinian land. Both sides must negotiate in good faith regarding all other outstanding issues that stand in the way of a durable and lasting peace in the region. In the meantime, strict adherence, by all sides, to the tenets of international humanitarian law is necessary in order to avoid escalating the conflict yet again.
Donald Trump -- Rabbi Jon says: I refuse to do anything that might encourage his candidacy. His bigoted statements and insults give cover to regular people to express hate and act on it, and that is dangerous to our society.