US/World News

O’Rourke: Trump turning Israel into partisan issue

(JNS) Former Texas representative and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said on Wednesday, Sept. 4 that President Trump has turned the U.S.-Israel relationship into a partisan issue. “Certainly the president is trying to [turn Israel into a partisan issue]; I don’t think he’ll be successful in that,” he told Haartez at the LGBTQ synagogue Beit Simchat Torah in Manhattan. “Certainly Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has tried to do that [with] the lack of respect that he showed to President [Barack] Obama, the partisan politics in which he’s participated here in the United States. …But we don’t have to accept that, and I don’t,” he added. O’Rourke, who in April called Netanyahu “racist” in response to a campaign pledge to annex parts of Judea and Samaria if he were to win re-election that month, said that “I would do everything I could to work with Prime Minister Netanyahu if he is in power and if I am lucky enough to serve as president, and to support the U.S.-Israel relationship.” However, he continued, “that is not mutually exclusive to ensuring that the right of self-determination for the Palestinian people is not compromised or undermined or ended all together, functionally and for all practical purposes, as an annexation would do.”

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