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Buttigieg says he wouldn’t allow U.S. taxpayer money to pay for West Bank annexation if elected

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South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he would block U.S. taxpayer money from being used for Israel’s potential annexation of the West Bank.

Buttigieg made the pledge during a June 11 speech at Indiana University, which outlined a number of his foreign policy proposals. Shortly before Israel’s election in April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would annex portions of the West Bank if he were reelected and earlier this month the US ambassador to Israel David Friedman told the New York Times that Israel had the right to do so. Netanyahu won the election but was unable to form a coalition government, forcing another election in September.

“If Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his threat to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill,” said the presidential hopeful.

Although some outlets have reported that Buttigieg would cut off all Israel aid as a result of a West Bank annexation, his comments make it clear that he is only referring to funds which would be used for that particular plan. In a tweet emphasizing this distinction, J Street Jeremy Ben-Ami wrote, “Here’s what Pete Buttigieg did say: He’d ensure US taxpayers don’t fund West Bank annexation. What he didn’t say: A single word about *cutting* aid. There’s a major difference between cutting US aid & imposing restrictions on how Israel can spend it..” Buttigieg did not detail how he would implement this strategy if an annexation began.

Buttigieg’s comments come on the heels of a new Senate resolution that denounces Netanyahu’s annexation plan and calls for a two-state solution. That resolution is backed by fellow presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, two fellow presidential candidates.

Sanders foreign policy advisor Matt Duss tweeted in support of Buttigieg’s plan, “Conditioning US aid to Israel to stop settlements and end occupation quickly becoming the mainstream Democratic position. This is good.”

Michael Arria

Michael Arria is the U.S. correspondent for Mondoweiss.

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22 Responses

  1. eljay on June 12, 2019, 1:19 pm

    … “If Prime Minister Netanyahu makes good on his threat to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill,” said the presidential hopeful. …

    Steps will include ensuring that American taxpayers foot the whole bill. That way, Bibi will simply have to make Butti the next “Grand Marshal of the Israeli Day Parade”!

  2. vanmet on June 12, 2019, 5:02 pm

    This and the item on the senate resolution are good reporting.

    At any rate, compared to the sounds out of official Washington in the past few years, one can’t claim that the song remains the same.

  3. annie on June 12, 2019, 5:37 pm

    Buttigieg’s pledge is meaningless if it doesn’t include sticks. he’s still offering them carrots and no way to control how israel moves around the money so they can take it all and still get their money and annexation.

    • DaBakr on June 12, 2019, 10:18 pm

      @a

      Agreed. He would have to pledge a whole different and radical shift in foreign policy for the statement to mean anything other then a ‘carrot’ to anti -zionist voters. Maybe somewhere down the Iine. I doubt he has enough in him to risk an early alienation from Christian zionists and some left leaning American jews

      OT: from your pov the recent bad news is Shaked is being offered number 2 spot if she drops Bennet. I know you can’t stand ayelet but I don’t imagine you thought she was going away either.

    • Citizen on June 13, 2019, 8:29 am

      Agreed. The giant chunk of current military aid to Israel frees up the Israeli government to put $38 billion dollars worth of shekels elsewhere. All US funds gifted to Israel are effectively fungible by Israel.

    • genesto on June 13, 2019, 6:03 pm

      Exactly! This is a political ploy to try to appease the progressive base by appearing to be tough on Israel while accomplishing absolutely nothing, thereby satisfying the Israel lobby.

  4. LiberatePalestine on June 12, 2019, 5:56 pm

    → He’d ensure US taxpayers don’t fund West Bank annexation. What he didn’t say: A single word about *cutting* aid. There’s a major difference between cutting US aid & imposing restrictions on how Israel can spend it.

    Here’s how this works:

    I give you a dollar but stipulate that it not be used to buy candy. Very well, you say; I shall not spend it on candy. Instead, you take a dollar out of your wallet and buy candy with it; then you put my dollar into your wallet. You have complied with the condition, but you have still achieved your goal.

  5. JWalters on June 12, 2019, 9:52 pm

    “a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers won’t help foot the bill”

    I’m estimating those would be very tiny steps, planned by Israel.

    On the money the US gives to Israel, Jake Morphonios, a former financial investigator for the banking industry, breaks down the financial relationship between the US and Israel so anybody can understand it. It blew my mind. His first few minutes are an entertaining tale of AIPAC agents spying on America. Ridiculous funny.
    “The Perfect Explanation of How the War Industry Works”

    • Bumblebye on June 13, 2019, 7:23 am

      Oh dear. Video’s been removed.

      • Misterioso on June 13, 2019, 9:25 am

        @Bumblefye

        “Oh dear. Video’s been removed.”

        Gee, I wonder why.

  6. RoHa on June 13, 2019, 3:06 am

    Annexing the settlements.

    No.

    Annexing the entire West Bank and Gaza, and giving all current residents full Israeli citizenship rather than driving them out.

    Yes.

    • Citizen on June 13, 2019, 8:36 am

      Presently, Israel pays nothing for its occupation; international state entities donate, while Israel controls the occupied land, especially Gaza–cheap and sans accountability. Annexation would require Israel to pay for its control, eh?

  7. Citizen on June 13, 2019, 8:32 am

    Video unavailable
    This video has been removed by the user

  8. Ossinev on June 13, 2019, 1:55 pm

    @Roha
    “Annexing the entire West Bank and Gaza, and giving all current residents full Israeli citizenship rather than driving them out”

    Would be very very interested to learn otherwise but have yet to see in any shape or form or from any of the usual sources specifically the ZioHasbara sources any actual plan for this “driving them out”.

    1) How would it be done ? Cattle trains ,fleets of buses – all of which presupposes that there would be little or no resistance on the part of the natives.
    2) Would there be large interim holding ie concentration camps pending the final cleansing of Eretz Israel ie expulsion to neighbouring countries.
    3) Would these neighbouring countries ie Jordan,Egypt,Lebanon simply shrug their individual and collective shoulders and agree to the enforced mass population transfer or would they resist what would be an invasion or their sovereign territories.
    4) Leaving aside the irretrievably ZioBenjaminised USA would the civilised world simply shrug it off.

    These and a lot more questions have yet to be asked but I believe that Zionist Israel has become so self brainwashed that this is an assumed taken for granted part of their obscene Fascist agenda with no perception or acknowledgement of actual consequences.

    • mondonut on June 13, 2019, 2:49 pm

      @Ossinev, but have yet to see … any actual plan for this “driving them out”.

      That is because there is no plan. It is just another invention of the Palestinian narrative, add it to the very long list.

    • wondering jew on June 13, 2019, 2:59 pm

      Most thoughts of driving out the Palestinians are fantasies regarding alternate history, if only we had thought ahead in 1967 or 1948, then the ethnic cleansing would have been done to the max and there would be no problem today. The United States would put up with it only under coordination with Trump which is not going to happen, but certainly not under any of his predecessors., so that is just anti benjamin rhetoric on your part. It is not realistic, but a fantasy.
      Benny Morris sees the future and it is international pressure leads Israel to reach a south africa type surrender and then a jewish emigration that would reflect the defeat (rather than the wholesale expulsion you would favor). when faced with this prediction the mind stretches in any direction that defies this prediction, which includes fantasies, but it is not common rhetoric among the reality based Israeli thinkers.

      • Mooser on June 14, 2019, 2:37 pm

        ” if only we had thought ahead in 1967 or 1948, then the ethnic cleansing would have been done to the max and there would be no problem today.” “wj”

        “Yonah”, isn’t there a Hebrew word for “ethnic cleansing done to the max”? I think it begins with “G”.

    • amigo on June 13, 2019, 5:06 pm

      0ssinev .no need for trains or buses.The HI tech geniuses in the start up nation are working on making molecular reconstruction a reality and intend to prove it out by transferring Non Jewish Israelis outside it.s borders . wherever. they are .

      “Beam them out Yossi.” and if they try to return .shoot them.

    • RoHa on June 13, 2019, 11:18 pm

      The Israelis have form for taking land and driving out Palestinians. If they have plans to do more of it, they haven’t told me. It simply wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to annex the lot and expel the Palestinians.

      And the rest of the world would mutter, “regrettable, but right to exist, security, ancient conflict, anti-Semitism …”

  9. gamal on June 13, 2019, 5:22 pm

    “if only we had thought ahead in 1967 or 1948, then the ethnic cleansing would have been done to the max and there would be no problem today”

    “we” and so ultimately after all the hollow hand wringing you indulge your eliminationist fantasies, sure yeah if only “you” had expelled and/or massacred them all, then everything would have been alright…no problems…

    the ground sinking under your feet and now blood corrupted snot dribbling from your mouth, how revolting…not even lasciviously..pas de probleme..

  10. Ossinev on June 14, 2019, 6:56 am

    @WJ
    “It is not realistic, but a fantasy”
    “rather than the wholesale expulsion you would favor”

    Where,how and not least why did you come to the daft conclusion that I ” would favour” wholesale expulsion.

    As for the “fantasy”:
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/plurality-of-jewish-israelis-want-to-expel-arabs-study-shows/

    I think that you have completely misread and misinterpreted my post. I wonder why.

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