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Amy Klobuchar says she would work on increasing support for Israel if elected president

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Presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar was interviewed by the New York Times editorial board as part of their endorsement process yesterday. The Minnesota Senator addressed a number of topics, including Israel.

Klobuchar implied she might roll back the Trump administration’s declaration on the legality of settlements, but said she would not move the United States Embassy back to Tel Aviv:

I am a strong supporter of Israel. I still see it as our beacon of democracy in the Mideast. But I have been horrified by some of the things that Trump has done, which has eroded support for Israel in the United States and I think has lessened their security position. I would not reverse the embassy change, but I do think that some of the things that he did recently when the administration said that the settlements were not against international law. That is in violation of longstanding American policy.

And if we truly want to build support for this democracy, then we have to restart these negotiations for a two-state solution, which I would do. When I went to Israel with a number of senators, I went only — it was just me and one other senator that did this — and met with the Palestinians. I think that their economic future is important, and I would push for a two-state solution.

When asked a follow-up question about Trump’s Embassy move, Klobuchar said she has always supported moving it to Jerusalem.

Klobuchar also cited her strong record of pro-Israel votes in the Senate. “I still think that they are in a really tough neighborhood in a really dangerous position,” she explained, “And made worse by what Trump just did with Syria because now Iran has a foothold there.”

In addition to an increase in political support, she also said that she’d work toward improving Israel’s reputation with the American public. “One of the things that I see as this really high-stakes opportunity for a new president is to bring in American support again in a big way for Israel,” explained Klobuchar, “And you do that by stopping these Mitch McConnell divisive votes, making it a wedge issue, trying to play politics instead of looking at what the challenges are ahead. I think that we need to emphasize Israel’s historic support for women’s rights, working on climate change, all of these things that have been lost because of Trump’s continual effort to use this as a partisan pawn.”

Klobuchar is the only Senator running for president who voted in favor of an anti-BDS bill last year. That AIPAC-backed legislation would provide legal cover to states that aim to crack down on the movement. When she was asked if Israel met the international standard for human rights by the paper last year, Klobuchar said the country did.

Michael Arria

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

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23 Responses

  1. Misterioso on January 16, 2020, 10:53 am

    “I am a strong supporter of Israel. I still see it as our beacon of democracy in the Mideast.”

    Apart from being unaware of the meaning of “democracy,” she’s been bought and paid for by the Zionist lobby. Pathetic!! No wonder America is in accelerating decline.

    • JWalters on January 16, 2020, 6:36 pm

      Premises:

      Anybody who solidly supports Israel either:

      (1) believes the Jews have a Bible-based right to trample the indigenous people of Palestine.

      (2) is extremely uninformed about Israel’s history of brutal crimes.

      (3) has been deeply corrupted.

      Conclusions:

      If Klobuchar is (1) she doesn’t understand the US principle of separating church and state, and is therefore unfit for office in the US government.

      If (2) she is too uninformed and incurious to serve usefully in the US government.

      If (3) she has been too corrupted to safeguard Americans’ interests in the US government.

    • Brewer on January 17, 2020, 11:27 pm

      “I am a strong supporter of Israel. I still see it as our beacon of democracy in the Mideast.”
      How come there is no mention of her disability – obviously the first sightless person to run for the Presidency!

  2. eljay on January 16, 2020, 12:28 pm

    A Zionist supports Jewish / “Jewish State” supremacism. Whodathunkit?!

    … Klobuchar also cited her strong record of pro-Israel votes in the Senate. “I still think that they are in a really tough neighborhood in a really dangerous position,” she explained, “And made worse by what Trump just did with Syria because now Iran has a foothold there.” …

    Imagine how Iran must feel! She’s in a really tough neighbourhood in a really dangerous position and it’s made worse by America’s crushing economic sanctions and his existential threats, aided and abetted by his buddy, Israel.

  3. James Canning on January 17, 2020, 10:41 am

    Surely Klobuchar is aware that Iran has done a great deal to defeat ISIS, a deadly enemy of American interests created by foolish US actions in the Middle East undertaken at the behest of Israel. “Iranian foothold in Syria” is borderline moronic talking point put out by the Israel lobby.

    • dianeshammas on January 17, 2020, 11:57 am

      Apart from her clueless, moronic and Zio statements, on the record she is demeaning to her staff, especially her female staff so that was my first turn off with her. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but she in weeks will be shaken out of the race.

  4. N30rebel on January 17, 2020, 10:58 am

    Anybody with such a mental illness is unfit for office. To believe that an invisible, sky dwelling god chose the people of a Middle Eastern tribe as his people is bonkers.

  5. genesto on January 17, 2020, 12:40 pm

    Klobuchar is a prime example of why we should abandon identity politics, once and for all. Electing any woman, particularly one like her – or, in 2016, Hillary – regardless of her integrity, would be a bad mistake. Klobuchar is the AIPAC-supported woman candidate this year, just as Hillary was in 2016. Her centrist, incrementalist policy positions are also very similar to Hillary’s.

    In the end, thankfully, people will turn away from this tepid, uninspiring tool of the Israel lobby just as they did with Hillary. I’d love to see a woman become president. I truly would. I have voted for Jill Stein in the past. But, as my wife tells me, she won’t vote for someone just because that person sits down to pee!

    • Keith on January 17, 2020, 6:02 pm

      GENESTO- “But, as my wife tells me, she won’t vote for someone just because that person sits down to pee!”

      Thanks for sharing.

      • genesto on January 18, 2020, 4:19 pm

        You’re welcome! :-{)

    • RoHa on January 18, 2020, 12:02 am

      We’ve had plenty of women presidents and PMs since Mrs. Bandaranaike became PM in 1960.

      Sufficient, I think, to say that they seem no better or worse than the men.

      • genesto on January 18, 2020, 4:20 pm

        My point exactly!

  6. Mayhem on January 19, 2020, 6:42 pm

    “And made worse by what Trump just did with Syria because now Iran has a foothold there.”
    Iran was virtually given free rein under Obama. It is Trump who has finally tried to put a stop to increasing Iranian hegemony in the region.
    Klobuchar has no grasp of US foreign policy – she just mutters what she thinks will appeal to her constituency.

    • RoHa on January 19, 2020, 9:16 pm

      No hegemony is probably best, but Iranian hegemony is preferable to American, Israeli, or Saudi hegemony.

    • Kay24 on January 21, 2020, 8:23 am

      Yes, if you can call having UN Monitors within Iran, periodically checking, and confirming, that Iran was complying with it’s side of the deal, free rein. Up to the point when Trump in his vindictive state destroyed the Nuclear Deal, it was all working well.

      I agree with RoHa that American, Israeli and Saudi hegemony, is far worse.

      • Mayhem on January 21, 2020, 5:35 pm

        When you’re keen on seeing Israel’s destruction by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah then of course you wouldn’t object to Iran gaining more destabilising footholds across the region.

      • Talkback on January 21, 2020, 9:36 pm

        @ Mayhem

        What do you mean by destabilising? Killing more terrorists from US’ proxy Saudia Arabia, supported by Israel?

      • Mooser on January 21, 2020, 10:06 pm

        “When you’re keen on seeing Israel’s destruction by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah then of course you wouldn’t object to Iran gaining more destabilising footholds across the region.”

        Yup, it’s obvious- Trump is ‘keen’ on Israel’s destruction.

      • oldgeezer on January 21, 2020, 10:41 pm

        @Mayhem

        The major destabilizing force in the region is Israel. Far and away. Followed by The US and Saudi Arabia. Those latter two supported by their lapdogs whether in the middle east or EU.

        Which country has refused to recognize the soverignty of other states in the region
        Which country has attacked each and every one of it’s neighbours.
        Which country refuses to sign the NPT, Chem and bio weapons bans
        Which country continues to use internationally banned clusterbombs
        Which country has used incendiary weapons on a civilian population
        Which country held a conference on changes to international laws as the protections afforded civilians were too restrictive of their war efforts and plans
        Which country denies international law.
        Which country refuses to abide by UNSC resolutions despite the inherent agreement to abide by them as a member of the UN
        Which country lobbies and agitates the world’s major military powers to destroy their neighbours
        Which country publically advocates the physical dismemberment of neighbouring states. ie to balkanize them
        Which country aids and abets ISIS and AQ

        I could go on and on. Israel is not alone in all of those but it is in many and it is applicable in every incidence.

        Israel is a rogue outlaw state and a danger to us all.

      • RoHa on January 21, 2020, 11:38 pm

        Hezbollah is an organization for the protection of Lebanon, not a proxy of Iran. My keenness doesn’t change that.

        But Iran looks more like a stabilising than destabilising force. Why would it be so bad for it to gain more footholds across the region?

      • eljay on January 22, 2020, 4:27 am

        || Mayhem: When you’re keen on seeing Israel’s destruction by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah then of course you wouldn’t object to Iran gaining more destabilising footholds across the region. ||

        When you’re keen on seeing Iran’s destruction by Israel’s proxy America then of course you wouldn’t object to Israel gaining more destabilising footholds across the region.

  7. Ossinev on January 22, 2020, 10:11 am

    @Mayhem

    “When you’re keen on seeing Israel’s destruction by Iran’s proxy Hezbollah then of course you wouldn’t object to Iran gaining more destabilising footholds across the region”

    Of course all those colonising Zionist Jews who have invaded and occupied Palestine in the last century and who continue to do so were and continue to be blissfully unaware that their actions have created and will continue to create destabilising factors in other peoples regions.

    There is a big big difference between moving home from Notting Hill to Golders Green and moving home from Golders Green to an illegal settlement in Palestine but being “Chosen” and of course eternally ” victimised ” allows you and others like you to ignore the difference.

  8. CCinRI on January 24, 2020, 12:46 am

    So much for Netanyahu’s 1996 speech to a joint session of congress, telling America “Israel has grown to be a powerful, modern state. I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance.” He went on to claim, “We are going to achieve economic independence. We are going to do it in the next four years.”

    I don’t need to tell anyone, not only did Netanyahu abandon his promise to get off the American taxpayers tit, Israel’s sucked more and harder at the same time it’s devolved from a free state to one committing ethnic cleansing and genocide, robbing the Palestinian people of their homes in Israel and homelands in Gaza and the West Bank… in the name of peace.

    It is finally time for We The People to demand an end to America’s support for Apartheid Israel, making the Likud government fulfill its promise to become self-reliant, and stop blocking sanctions against a regime we would tolerate nowhere else in the world,
    #BDS

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