Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
(photo credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/CNP)
Pete Buttigieg, one of the strong candidates to lead the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential elections, said during a New York Times interview encompassing party leaders and their views on the Jewish state that Israel has a “problematic” human rights record and that it must be “guided” toward peace as it is now moving “in the wrong direction.”
He also claimed that the current administration is moving away from peace. Buttigieg also said Israel is an important ally of the US.
The NYT article, which took three months to write, includes almost all of the Democratic presidential candidates and was released on Wednesday.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said that Israel is in “a very tough neighborhood” and argued that “a good friend” will encourage both the Palestinians and Israelis to come to the negotiation table and talk.
“The current situation is not tangible,” she warned, and is not “in the long term interest” to both sides. In her view, a two-state solution is the suitable way to resolve this century-long conflict.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who was able to appeal to many young voters in the past, expressed his concern over the role Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is playing in Israel.
“I believe 100% in the right for Israel not only to exist,” he said, “but to exist in peace and security.”
He further stated that the US must engage all parties, including the Palestinians, and behave in an “even handed way.”
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, said Israel is the “one essential country on the planet,” JTA reported.
Former vice president Joe Biden declined to answer.
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