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Israel Keeps a Close Eye as President Trump, Biden in Tight Race

November 4, 2020

by: Kate Norman

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Republican candidate Donald Trump (left) and Democratic candidate Joe Biden

Wednesday, 4 November 2020 | As the last few king-making states count the remaining votes, the US, the world and Israel, are on the edge of their seats, waiting to see who will emerge victorious in the razor thin presidential race.

Incumbent US President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday night in the US, Wednesday morning in Israel, his tone confident. His opponent, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, remains cautious.

If the choice were up to Jewish Israelis, Trump would take the throne. Some 70% of Jewish Israelis prefer President Trump over Biden, according to a survey by the Israel Democracy Institute published on Sunday.

Hailed as one of the most pro-Israel presidents in US history, President Trump has certainly been a friend to the Jewish state in his four years. A friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and moved the US Embassy there, recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, declared Jewish settlements in the contested biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria “not inherently illegal,” and more.

Most recently, his administration subverted a longstanding policy that will now allow US citizens born in Jerusalem to put “Jerusalem, Israel” on their passports instead of just “Jerusalem.”

While Biden has also been described as a friend to Israel in the Senate and has voted in bills that favor the Jewish state, the Democratic candidate stands staunchly against Israel applying its sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and expanding Jewish communities in the contested region—a policy that his running mate, Kamala Harris, reiterated recently.

“We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal,” the vice presidential candidate told a Detroit newspaper. “We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion.”

Harris also indicated that a Biden administration would reestablish the ties to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that were broken after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv in 2018.

The Democratic hopeful would also backtrack on Trump’s current “maximum pressure” policy against Iran. While Trump is attempting to put a financial chokehold on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions with sanctions, Biden has indicated he would attempt to return to the 2015 nuclear deal set up under then-President Barak Obama.

The direction the US takes toward Iran affects the Jewish state, who has also vowed to block Iran from expanding across the region until it finds itself at the back door of Jerusalem. 

Israel waits anxiously with the US to see what the future holds.

Posted on November 4, 2020

Source: (Bridges for Peace, November 4, 2020)

Photo Credit: TRUMP: Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian/flickr.com

Photo License: TRUMP: flickr.com

Photo Credit: BIDEN: Gage Skidmore/flickr.com

Photo License: BIDEN: flickr.com

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