“2020 Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke defended his criticisms of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while campaigning in Iowa on Sunday, arguing that the U.S.-Israel relationship must ‘transcend partisanship’ and ‘transcend a prime minister who is racist’ in order to preserve the alliance,” Axios reported on Monday, at which’s website video of O’Rourke’s comments can be viewed.
“The US-Israel relationship is one of the most important relationships that we have on the planet,” O’Rourke began. “And that relationship, if it is to be successful, must transcend partisanship in the United States, and it must be able to transcend a prime minister who is racist, as he warns about Arabs coming to the polls, who wants to defy any prospect for peace as he threatens to annex the West Bank, and who has sided with a far-right, racist party in order to maintain his hold on power.”
“[O’Rourke’s] comments also come amid a verbal campaign by Trump to paint the Democrats as anti-Israel, following a controversy in which Rep. Ilhan Omar was accused of repeatedly using anti-Semitic tropes,” according to Axios.
Jim Geraghty of the conservative magazine National Review notes, “If you thought the relationship between Netanyahu and Barack Obama was tense, imagine how things would be between Netanyahu and O’Rourke,” should the 2020 hopeful be elected president.
Netanyahu has been the Israeli Prime Minister since 2009, and is currently running for reelection. Israel’s elections will be held tomorrow, on April 9.