(July 15, 2019 / JNS) U.S. Sens. Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, have said that if elected president in 2020, each of them would keep the U.S. embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, despite criticizing U.S. President Donald Trump for making the move in May 2018.
The three gave their answers to Axios.
“Vice President Biden would not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv,” said a campaign spokesperson. “But he would re-open our consulate in East[ern] Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”
In March, the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and the consulate merged to form a single diplomatic mission. The consulate covered Palestinian affairs, which have now been included in operations into the embassy.
“He would also return the United States to the effort of encouraging a two-state solution—the only way to truly guarantee Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish and democratic state and meet the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinians for a state of their own,” continued the spokesperson.
Booker said, “I opposed the move of the embassy because I believed it should have been included in the larger process of negotiations. Now that the embassy has been moved, I do not see moving it back as either practical or productive.”
Meanwhile, Gillibrand thought the move “came at the wrong time,” said her campaign spokesperson. “While she won’t undo that unproductive and impulsive decision, she would undertake new diplomatic initiatives to restart peace negotiations.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Jewish Insider, “I don’t have an answer to that,” regarding whether or not he would keep the embassy in Jerusalem.
“I will do whatever is necessary to keep the possibility alive for a two-state solution, and I believe that is the ultimate goal, along with the preservation for the security of a democratic Israel and I will pursue whatever is appropriate to those goals.”
On the other hand, former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak told JNS on Friday that, if elected, he would move the U.S. embassy “back out of Jerusalem.”
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