‘Everything is on the table’: Breaking down Elizabeth Warren’s Israel policy
November 1, 2019
WASHINGTON (JTA) — When it comes to pressuring Israel, Elizabeth Warren doesn’t have a specific plan.
The senator from Massachusetts, who has caught up in polling with front-runners for the Democratic presidential nomination, now faces intensified scrutiny as a newly viable contender. And what has emerged is that Warren is vague about how she would pressure Israel if she perceives it to be acting contrary to US interests.
“Everything is on the table”
In a video submitted to this week’s annual conference of J Street, the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, Warren offered details on other aspects of her Israel policy and was clear she is willing to lean on Israel. But she declined to specify exactly how she might do that.
“We must find ways to make tangible progress on the ground toward a two-state solution,” she said in the video.
“Sometimes that might mean finding ways to apply pressure and create consequences for problematic behavior as previous Democratic and Republican presidents have done,” she said. “For example, if Israel’s government continues with steps to formally annex the West Bank, the United States should make it clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation.”
Last week in Iowa, Warren was pressed on this question by a reporter.
“Everything is on the table,” she said, but would not elaborate.
The question matters as a willingness to leverage aid to shift Israel’s policy is emerging as a litmus test for Democrats. Some on the left insist that aid be used to pressure Israel, while moderates say that’s a step too far.
J Street announced this week that it was ready to advocate for US pressure on Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes good on his pledge to annex parts of the West Bank. And activists with IfNotNow, a Jewish group that is sharply critical of Israel’s security policies, have been pressing Democratic candidates about whether they would use US assistance to pressure Israel to stop settlement construction.