Pete Buttigieg: Recognition of Golan is interference in Israeli politics

"The president used US foreign policy to put a thumb on the scale for right-wing allies within Israeli domestic politics."

By LEON SVERDLOV
August 14, 2019 11:29
1 minute read.
Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana

Pete Buttigieg, the Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 election, denounced Tuesday US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, as an interference in Israeli politics, JNS reported.

"There are very legitimate Israeli security concerns," Buttigieg told JNS, "That being said, I would have, in that situation, had this be part of a negotiated discussion. The really upsetting thing about what was done with the Golan Heights was that it was an intervention in Israeli domestic politics."
"In other words," he added, "The president used US foreign policy to put a thumb on the scale for right-wing allies within Israeli domestic politics. This is totally the wrong basis for our policy."


"The bottom line is that when I am president," Buttigieg concluded, "We will do it not based on US politics and not based on Israeli politics but based on what is best for the security of the Israeli-Palestinian [future]."


When asked about possibly undoing the president's move, Buttigieg told JNS that he will not "make any declarations now about the future of that status other than to say that on my watch it would not have come as part of the intervention of Israeli [politics]."


The Republican Jewish Coalition replied to Buttigieg, saying that he "apparently wants Syria to have the Golan Heights, supports a foreign policy strategy that denies reality."

 
Previously – JNS reported – Buttigieg pledged to keep the US embassy in Israel in Jerusalem if elected, but vowed to reenter the US into the Iran nuclear deal.


This June, Buttigieg warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the annexation of the West Bank, saying that if he "makes good on his threat to annex West Bank settlements, he should know that a President Buttigieg would take steps to ensure that American taxpayers won't help foot the bill."



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