Questions for the Candidates

star-eyes_150Israel as an issue in US politics

Just about everyone who is anyone spoke at AIPAC. Everyone except Bernie Sanders. The refusal to allow him a remote video speech did him such a favour that I wonder whether he didn’t breathe a sigh of relief at the excuse not to be there. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose.

aipac[1]AIPAC, for those who are unaware, is not the organisation of America’s Jews or even American Jewish organisations. It is a lobby for Israel and not only or even specifically Jewish. To have someone who doesn’t support Israel’s case speaking there would be like having a supporter of European-type firearms control at the National Rifle Association.  Never mind, Bernie. J Street is available.

Hillary, can I call you Hillary? Or is that a familiarity you will drop the moment you are elected?

Suha-HillaryYour AIPAC speech was so positive towards Israel that I almost forgot that from January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013 you either condoned or recommended Obama’s Middle East policy as his Secretary of State. While Obama was forcing the Muslim Brotherhood onto Egypt; placing daylight between America and Israel and deciding whether or not to support the 2009 Iranian protests you were by his side.

You’ve done your homework on what your audience wanted to hear but I still take your speech with a pinch of salt.

Tachlis, candidates. Here are some specific questions:

  • Will you reaffirm George Bush’s promises to Ariel Sharon as confirmed by both houses of Congress but rejected by Obama?
  • Will you move the US embassy to Jerusalem as required by the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995?
  • Do you believe that solving the Israel/Palestine conflict is the key to solving all or any problems in the Middle East? If not, what are the problems and how would you use the resources of the United States to alter that position?
  • Do you believe that pressuring Israel is the sole answer to the Israel/Palestine conflict? If not, what steps will you take to pressure the Palestine Authority, Iran and other Arab states?
  • Who will advise you on Middle East policy?
  • Will you introduce inspections of Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities which Obama assures us is the achievement of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)?
  • Will you oppose labeling on all Israeli products not just those from outside the 1948 Armistice lines? Will you oppose labeling on Israeli products from outside the 1948 lines?

Have we missed anything?

Extra credit



About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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