Presidential Election Cheat Sheet: Scott Walker and Israel

“Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.” (Isaiah 55:4)

Scott Kevin Walker has been serving as Governor of Wisconsin since 2011. He was also the first American governor to survive a recall election, in 2012. Walker is a candidate for the Republican Party in the upcoming 2016 presidential election.

Here are his stances on a range of issues of importance to Israel:

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Wisconsin governor in theory supports a two-state solution but does not think that a Palestinian state can be established at this time. During a May 2015 radio interview with Sean Hannity, he described a helicopter ride he took during a recent trip to Israel: “Up in the air, you could see how close the threats were from Hezbollah, the Islamic State, down to the problems in Gaza.” Because of the very real dangers to its security, Walker stated that Israel must first have “defensible and secure borders,” and only then can a two-state solution be pursued.

Iran

Walker has voiced strong opposition to the July 2015 Iran deal. “Iran is not a place that we should be doing business with,” he said in a speech to conservative lawmakers following the announcement of the deal. He also repeated his statement from last March that if elected president he would reject a deal with Iran “on day one.” Walker expressed great concern not only for the threat a nuclear Iran deal would pose to Israel, but also for the danger of sparking a nuclear weapons race with other nations in the region.

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President Obama reacted to Scott Walker’s intent to reject the Iran deal on National Public Radio, calling it “foolish” and suggesting that Walker “bone up on foreign policy.” Walker then countered, “Whether it is cutting a bad deal with Iran, calling ISIS the JV squad, or touting Yemen as a success story, Obama’s lack of leadership has hurt America’s safety and standing in the world.”

US-Israel Relations

In a March 2015 article for National Review, Walker wrote, “[T]he U.S.–Israel relationship is in crisis, perhaps the most serious crisis in our history.” Walker also said in a May interview on Fox News that Israel’s biggest concern currently is that America “has somehow backed away because of this president and this administration” and that he “would make it a priority to reestablish that partnership with Israel.”

Commenting on the rocky relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Obama, Walker added, “It seems to be mixed up. Iran used to be our foe, and Israel used to be our ally, and the way you watch this administration, you’d think the roles have been reversed.”

Israel’s Right to Self-Defense/Security

In his National Review article, Walker defended the Israeli Prime Minister’s controversial speech to Congress of last March: “[Netanyahu] has legitimate security concerns regarding the type of deal he sees taking shape. In his view, this deal is likely to leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state and provide the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Such a deal presents an existential threat to Israel.”

Before arriving on his May 2015 trip to Israel, Walker expressed his support for the fight against terror: “We need a commander in chief who will once and for all call it what it is, and that is that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to us all . . . We need a president who will affirm that Israel is our ally, and start acting like it.”



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