August 22, 2019

Democrats Are Turning Away from Israel. Not Pete Buttigieg

“Pete Buttigieg may be a rising star in the 2020 Democratic field, but his strong pro-Israel views may put him at odds with the increasingly pro-Palestinian left flank in his own party.

The 37-year-old openly gay mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has in the past described Israel as a model for the US in how to deal with security threats. He’s blamed most of the suffering in Gaza on Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist political organization and militant group that has run the territory since 2007. And he’s strongly rejected condemnations of Israel — and US support for it — made by progressive lawmakers.

That’s not to say he’s completely ignored the plight of Palestinians — he hasn’t. During a March campaign stop in Iowa, Buttigieg said he wants America to help make “a world where Israelis and Palestinians are able to live in peace side by side.” Overall, though, Buttigieg has shown a willingness to back Israel.

That puts him in stark contrast with the more progressive wing of his own party. Poll after poll has shown that liberal Democratic primary voters are less sympathetic to Israel than they were in years past. It also shows he disagrees with some first-term Representatives, particularly Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).”

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