U.S. Senator Robert Menendez on Wednesday touted Hillary Clinton’s longstanding support of Israel in a penned endorsement ahead of the June 7 New Jersey presidential primary.
“Just look at Israel – an American ally whose security is far too important to gamble with, especially when it finds itself under siege,” Menendez wrote in an op-ed on PolitickerNJ.com. “Under the constant threat of such brutal terror—in addition to Iran’s continued aggression, rising extremism throughout the Middle East, and a global effort to delegitimize Israel—the presence of a strong and experienced American president will be more critical than ever.”
Menendez, a staunch supporter of Israel and one of the leading Democratis against the Iran nuclear deal, did not mention his Senate colleague, Bernie Sanders. Instead, he boasted about Clinton’s “commitment to defending Israel’s national security interests” as someone who has experienced it first-hand. “When she served in the Senate, she advocated for peace in the region, and co-sponsored bills aimed at thwarting Palestinian terrorism,” he wrote. “As Secretary of State, she devised and fought to maintain sanctions that crippled Iran’s economy, and she negotiated a ceasefire between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian leaders at a critical moment in Gaza after increasing violence and rocket attacks on Israeli homes.”
According to Menendez, “Hillary also believes that no matter how hard it may be, establishing a two-state solution is essential to Israel’slong-termm security. And as President, she will continue working toward the goal of providing Israelis with a secure homeland for the Jewish people and allowing Palestinians to peacefully govern themselves in their own state.”
Excoriating Donald Trump, Menendez asserted that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s rhetoric and proposals during the campaign could have a real impact on world affairs and lead to immediate security consequences to U.S. allies like Israel. “And at a time of unprecedented conflict and chaos in the Middle East, Hillary recognizes that Israel’s security depends on securing the entire region,” he wrote. “Today, an arch of instability stretches from North Africa to South Asia, and extremist groups like ISIS and aggressive nations like Iran actively feed off of that instability and conflict. That means anything a president does or says can have immediate real-world consequences to allies like Israel. Unlike Donald Trump, Hillary will be a Commander-in-Chief who knows that when it comes to our security and that of our allies – some things are simply non-negotiable.”
Menendez’ emphasize on Israel in his endorsement of Clinton is in stark contrast with megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who recently contributed $20,000 to his legal defense fund. As reported by the New York Times, Adelson told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more than $100 million to help elect him in the fall. During the meeting, Trump reportedly assured Sheldon and his wife Miriam Adelson that he was dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.
The New Jersey Senator as a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was also part of the delegation escorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress last March, a controversial visit that was rebuked by the administration and the Democratic congressional leadership.
Recent polls show Clinton with a 15 point lead over Sanders in the New Jersey primary. She also leads Trump by 11 points in a general election matchup.