Democratic Senator and 2020 presidential contender Kamala Harris is getting cozy with AIPAC and Netanyahu, letting them know she favors an eternal, strong, bipartisan US-Israel relationship – this in a climate in which Democrats are beginning to care about Palestinian human rights.
Unlike some of her counterparts in the Senate, she has not publicly made any demands of Israel or Netanyahu regarding the human rights of Palestinians.
Today I met with Senator @KamalaHarris of California. We discussed the potential for deepening cooperation in water management, agriculture, cyber security, and more. I expressed my deep appreciation for America’s commitment to Israel’s security. 🇮🇱🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/L5qdcgwWG0
Her national security adviser, Halie Soifer, has long been an advocate for Israel. She was the Obama campaign’s Jewish outreach liaison in Florida in 2008. “[Obama] has never wavered when it comes to Israel’s defense,” Soifer said to a group of elderly voters during that campaign.
She previously worked for other notably pro-Israel members of Congress — such as former Florida Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler and Delaware Sen. Chris Coons — and advised former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power on Israeli-Palestinian issues.
Sanders’s top foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, is notable for being a dissenting voice on this issue. A former president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, he testified before the Democratic Party’s platform committee in 2016.
In that testimony, he called on the Democratic Party to embrace an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, recognize Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace, and adopt a generally more “even-handed” approach to the conflict.
In November, about a week before the 10 senators sent the Feinstein-led letter to Netanyahu, Harris was in Israel and met with the Israeli prime minister, who shared a photograph from the meeting on Twitter. U.S. lawmakers have a long history of visiting Israel, the largest recipient of U.S. military aid.