speaking out

2020 presidential candidates express support for Israel in war against terror

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

From left, Marianne Williamson, Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock take the stage for the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

On Wednesday, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined former Vice President Joe Biden in denouncing rocket attacks from Gaza and reaffirming their support for Israel’s right to defend itself. 

More than 360 rockets have been fired at Israel since Monday morning following the IDF’s targeted assassination of senior Islamic Jihad official Baha Abu al-Ata.

Buttigieg added that the attacks “will only serve to inflame the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said in a statement to JI, “The latest barrage of rocket attacks from Gaza on innocent Israelis cannot be tolerated–Israel has the right to defend itself from these horrific attacks. I join others in urging against further escalation.”

The remaining candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have yet to issue a statement on this week’s escalation, but have taken to social media to address a range of other issues.

A spokesperson for Buttigieg tells JI: “The security of our ally Israel is essential and Pete felt it was important to condemn the indiscriminate firing of rockets and targeting of civilians. All Israelis and Palestinians should have the freedom to go about their daily lives without fear. Pete knows the only viable way forward to achieve peace is a two-state solution that achieves Palestinian aspirations and meets Israel’s security needs.”

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump called the targeted strike and ongoing rocket fire “crazy” during remarks at a Jewish fundraiser in New York City.  Trump described the situation as “missiles going in and going out” and reassured the crowd that Israel has “a great protector in Donald Trump.” The president told the crowd, “We’re watching Israel very closely.”

This post was updated

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