Buttigieg: US aid should be used as ‘leverage’ to change Israeli policies

Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  7 months ago  •  7 comments

Buttigieg: US aid should be used as ‘leverage’ to change Israeli policies

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Buttigieg: US aid should be used as ‘leverage’ to change Israeli policies

2020 Democratic hopeful says he wouldn’t let Washington ‘foot the bill’ if Jerusalem annexes West Bank settlements

By  ERIC CORTELLESSA, Times of ISrael, October 22 2019



Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a gun safety forum Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said over the weekend that he would consider using American military aid to “leverage” Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinians.

Speaking at the University of Chicago on Friday, the South Bend mayor indicated that, as president, he would not allow the US to grant the same amount of aid to Israel were it to annex West Bank settlements, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to do.

During a question-and-answer session at the South Side campus, a freshman and activist with the Jewish anti-occupation group IfNotNow asked if the candidate would make aid to Israel contingent upon ending the occupation.

“I think that the aid is leverage to guide Israel in the right direction,” Buttigieg said. “If, for example, there is follow-through on these threats of annexation, I’m committed to ensuring that the US is not footing the bill for that.”

Over the weekend, both   @ewarren   and   @PeteButtigieg   gave statements indicating support for leveraging American military funding to Israel to challenge Israeli policies of occupation. This is encouraging.  

Here's Buttigieg's answer to a question from an IfNotNow member on Friday:   pic.twitter.com/0fRC5hwS22  

— IfNotNow???? (@IfNotNowOrg)   October 21, 2019

“It is in the American interest, as well as the Palestinian and ultimately the Israeli Jewish interest, that Israel not reach the point where there will have to be a choice between either being a Jewish state or a democracy,” he said, “and there is a trajectory toward that going on right now.”

He suggested that pressuring Israel to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution was in its long-term interest of remaining a Jewish democracy.

Buttigieg, 37, would not vow to reduce US aid to Israel if he were elected, but suggested it was a possibility.

“I’m not going to commit now to all of the ways that that leverage can and should be used, but I will say that our policy goal will be to do what we do when a friend is moving in a way that you’re worried about, which is to put your arm around them and guide them somewhere better,” he said.

Buttigieg’s comments appear to be the latest installment of IfNotNow’s efforts to   confront   2020 candidates on their views regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


2020 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders with IfNotNow volunteers in New Hampshire on June 29, 2019. (Photo courtesy IfNotNow via JTA)

BUZZ NOTE:  A photo of traitors to their religion - I wish the psalm would apply to all of them: "Should I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth".

The left-wing group has been deploying activists throughout the country to pose questions to the candidates while they are on camera or on the stump.

Buttigieg is the third major Democratic presidential candidate to indicate a willingness to cut military aid to Israel.

In a podcast interview in July, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he would “absolutely”   mull   such cuts. Over the weekend, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said   withholding   aid to pressure Israel into curbing its West Bank settlement enterprise was “on the table.”

Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg are currently   polling   at second, third and fourth, respectively, in the Real Clear Politics average.

Sanders and Buttigieg are   slated   to speak at J Street’s national conference next week — along with other presidential candidates such as Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet and former secretary of housing and urban development Julian Castro.

The confab will mark the first major forum in which the candidates are expected to address their stances on US policy toward Israel.


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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    7 months ago

When Pete's name first appeared as a possible candidate, and I read what his credentials were - a Rhodes Scholar, multilingual and because of his ability to speak to foreign leaders in their own language would earn their respect, experience governing as a mayor and seemingly well liked by his constituents, youthfully relatively good looking appearance, I thought he could really be a winner.

But once he opened his mouth about Israel...he lost me and I'm sure a lot of others.

Buzz of the Orient
2  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    7 months ago

Is there anyone here who supports him to be POTUS, and if so, why?

2.2  Tacos!  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    7 months ago

He's getting a lot of support in the party because he's gay. Don't get me wrong; I'd love to see more diversity in the White House. Black president (check!/or half check), female president, gay president - I'm in favor of any of them. I think it's part of a process of us maturing, as a people.

But I'm not going to vote for any random guy because - and solely because - he's gay. That's just dumb.

4  Tacos!    7 months ago
“I think that the aid is leverage to guide Israel in the right direction,”

What??? I thought America didn't do that kind of thing. I thought that was "extooorrrtion!"

5  Snuffy    7 months ago

Yeah, just like we don't meddle in governments or elections of other countries. I think if we could see the conversations between other presidents and other world leaders we would be amazed and how much it really goes on. America is a very rich country in both money and man-power and we give a lot of it around the globe. People being people, I would be amazed if our leaders didn't constantly "request" something back for our aid.

Buzz of the Orient
5.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Snuffy @5    7 months ago

Whether or not, I think that if an agreement has been signed, then making demands that interferes with the good governance of the other party of that agreement of terms that were not included in the agreement is something that if there were an unbiased world court, would be breach of contract - reneging on a promise, but that sounds familiar these days, doesn't it.  America may still hold its head up high among the Arab/Muslim countries by maintaining its stance that Israel is not entitled to the lands it occupies, but there is a lot of historical, legal, mandate, agreement, declarations, conventions and treaties that have been researched that in fact establish that Israel IS entitled to sovereignty over those lands. I have posted a number of legal opinions already so many times it's become boring, and it has also been provided by two other intelligent members of NT who have carefully researched and traced those rights.


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