Engel Pledges Israel Support if Dems Win Midterms

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) assured a group of pro-Israel supporters on Monday that he’d remain steadfast in his support for Israel and maintain bipartisanship on the issue should Democrats win Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Engel, currently serving as the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is in line to become chair of the prestigious committee if Democrats regain control over the House of Representatives.

“I will do what I have done in Congress for the past 30 years. I will stand squarely with Israel, I will stand squarely with the Jewish people,” Engel said during the Luncheon Symposium on Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism, co-hosted by the American Zionist Movement (AZM) and the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in midtown Manhattan.

Rep. Engels addresses the symposium, November 5, 2018. (Photo: Jacob Kornbluh)

“I want to make sure that the alliance between Israel and the United States is so strong that it doesn’t matter who is president or who is prime minister. What matters is the bond between the U.S. and Israel should be strengthened regardless of who gets elected in any particular election.”

Engel’s remarks come on the eve of an election that could usher in a new wave of progressive candidates who have taken issue with the establishment’s foreign policy views, including its blanket support for Israel, raising the specter of a crack in the long-standing bipartisan backing of Israel in Congress.

“I have spent 30 years in Congress, and I believe that there’s no one in the entire Congress who supports Israel more than I do,” proclaimed Engel, who would serve as a leading Israel and foreign policy voice if he becomes committee chair. “And I will continue to make sure that the U.S. and Israel stand closer together. And you can certainly count me as an enemy of the BDS movement because they are an enemy of free speech and an enemy of what we in the United States stand for.”

Reflecting on the horrific Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, Engel promised, should he attain the leadership role, to “shine a light on this disease that is called anti-Semitism.”  

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.