Top Jewish Dems ‘optimistic’ about party’s Israel stance under Biden-Harris

house rules

AMOS BEN GERSHOM/GPO

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) suggested on Monday that the foreign policy agendas of some far-left members of Congress are being rejected by the vast majority of the Democratic Party — led by former vice president and presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden as the party standard-bearer. 

“There is this enormous amount of attention paid to a very tiny percentage of the Democrats in the House and even in the freshman class,” Deutch said during a Zoom call hosted by the American Jewish Committee. “What I would suggest to those of us who care deeply about the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship is [to] look to the vast majority of not just the Democratic Party but these freshmen in particular,” he added. “Under a pro-Israel platform and in a Biden administration that is committed to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship and enhancing American diplomacy around the world, those members will have an even greater opportunity to help feed in and usher in this new generation of wonderful pro-Israel leadership in the House.” 

“And if we’re looking ahead, that’s one thing that we have to look forward to,” Deutch continued. “That certainly should make us all feel really optimistic about what things will look like.” 

Wexler said the “good news” is that if Biden is elected president in November, the members who “strike out in a hypercritical way towards Israel will be defeated” because people will see the progress made by a Biden-Harris administration “that is committed to engaging both Israelis and Palestinians from a position of respect and strength.” 

The former Florida congressman pointed to the Israel plank of the DNC 2020 platform as an indication of Biden’s influence over the party. “It is not a coincidence that it’s a pro-Israel platform. It was literally written by Joe Biden himself. He made the decisions in terms of whether or not to include the type of language that illustrates decades of strong Democratic Party and bipartisan consensus favorable to Israel,” Wexler explained. 

Wexler also rejected any notion that Biden surrendered to the progressive wing for the sake of party unity in a way that would influence his foreign policy approach.

“This isn’t someone who just got elected to Congress yesterday or didn’t have eight years as the vice president. And even if four decades of solidly straightline pro-Israel activity wasn’t sufficient for you, his most important pick in terms of what he’s doing now is his vice presidential nominee and [Sen. Kamala] Harris clearly stands in the Biden wing of the Democratic Party in terms of Israel,” Wexler stressed. “So I don’t know what more Vice President Biden could possibly do to engender the type of confidence that he has built up over four decades of being one of Israel’s strongest staunchest supporters, day in day out in every circumstance… I wish we could say that President [Donald] Trump’s record regarding Israel and his activities to the American Jewish community were so solidly, consistently supportive of Israel and the interests of the American Jewish community over that period of time.”

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