10 Questions about Israel for the US Presidential Candidates
Israel has barely been mentioned in the current presidential campaign. This is disappointing to the many millions of Christian and Jewish Americans for whom America’s relationship with Israel is a significant foreign policy concern.
Here are 10 questions that I think the candidates need to address.
- There have been reports that President Obama may take some sort of action against Israel during the period between the election and the inauguration.
Are you prepared, right now, to urge President Obama to refrain from any December Surprise?
- After President Obama attended the funeral of Shimon Peres, the White House issued a press release that referred to him visiting “Jerusalem, Israel.” Then it issued a corrected version with the word “Israel” deleted.
In what country do you believe Peres is buried?
- The Obama administration has strongly condemned Israel for planning to build 98 homes in the Jewish community of Shiloh.
Is it your position that Jews in Shiloh should not be permitted to build additional homes, but Palestinian Arabs who live in nearby towns should be permitted to build as many homes as they want?
- Israel has announced plans to rebuild the famous Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue in the Old City section of Jerusalem, which the Jordanians destroyed in the 1948 war. That part of the city is beyond the pre-1967 armistice line.
Do you regard the rebuilding of the synagogue as “illegal Israeli construction in occupied Arab territory”? And how is the construction in the Old City of Jerusalem different from the construction of the homes in Shiloh?
- Immediately after the October 9th terrorist rampage by Mesbah Abu Sbih in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority issued an official call to Palestinian shopkeepers to go on strike in honor of “the martyr Mesbah Abu Sbih.”
What action would you take, as president, to pressure the PA to stop honoring terrorists?
- Sunday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem took place in the neighborhood of Ammunition Hill, some of which is beyond the pre-1967 armistice line. The Palestinian Authority referred to the 60-year-old woman who was murdered as “an Israeli settler.”
Do you agree with the PA that those parts of Jerusalem are “occupied Arab territory” and that the Jewish residents are “Israeli settlers”?
- The British government has suspended its aid to the Palestinian Authority because of the PA’s payment of salaries to imprisoned terrorists and the families of dead terrorists.
Do you think the United States likewise should suspend its $500-million annual gift to the PA until the PA stops subsidizing terrorists and their families?
- As a US senator, Hillary Clinton once referred to the anti-Semitism in Palestinian Authority school textbooks and summer camps as “child abuse.”
Do you, Secretary Clinton, stand by that characterization? Do you, Mr. Trump, agree with it? And if elected, what would each of you do about it?
- The Palestinian Authority has never responded to Israel’s 36 requests for the extradition of terrorists, something that is required by the Oslo accords.
Do you agree that the PA should fulfill its Oslo obligation to surrender the terrorists? And if so, what would you do about it as president?
- The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) are on the U.S. State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Both the PFLP and the PLF are still member-organizations of the PLO, which is chaired by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.
What steps would you take to pressure Abbas to expel the PFLP and PLF from the PLO?
An earlier version of this post appears in the Jewish Press.