Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), who is running for the chairmanship of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee following the loss of current chair Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in the New York primary race, promised on Monday to have Palestinian voices appear before the powerful committee.

“I think if you’re going to be the sole broker, then you’ve got to be willing to listen to all sides to take that in. And then as you go forward, be better in your job of brokering a peace agreement,” said Castro in a J Street webcast. “For the long-term stability of both Israel and the Palestinians, I think the United States, especially on the congressional level, being able to hear the different voices would actually be helpful. And so I hope that we can make that happen next term.”

“It makes it easier at that point to bring them back to the table because they feel more confident that not just a team of diplomats negotiating an agreement, but that the American Congress and the American people have heard their perspective,” he added. “That goes beyond symbolism. I see that as a very substantive thing.”

Additionally, Castro reiterated his stance on conditioning U.S. assistance to Israel on the Jewish state not applying sovereignty to the West Bank, also known as Judea and Samaria.

“I think that it’s absolutely fair for Congress to consider those things,” he said. “Sometimes, you have to be able to tell your friends or their leaders—at least in this case, [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu—when they’re wrong. And I have said that on this, I believe the prime minister is wrong. And so I do think that it’s fair for Congress to say that American money should not be used for those purposes.”

Finally, Castro expressed concern that the U.S. sale of F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates could destabilize the Middle East. The planned sale comes in the aftermath of the UAE, along with Bahrain, officially normalizing ties with Israel on Sept. 15.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.