Which Democratic 2020 contenders would move embassy back to Tel Aviv?
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Which Democratic 2020 contenders would move embassy back to Tel Aviv?

Front-runners say they aren’t happy with the relocation, but that doesn’t mean they would reverse Trump’s decision

The US embassy in Jerusalem sits on a traffic circle recently named for US President Donald Trump. The compound is in the middle of Arnona, a quiet residential neighborhood in the city’s south. (Ben Sales/JTA)
The US embassy in Jerusalem sits on a traffic circle recently named for US President Donald Trump. The compound is in the middle of Arnona, a quiet residential neighborhood in the city’s south. (Ben Sales/JTA)

Democratic presidential contenders are not happy that US President Donald Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

But that doesn’t mean they would reverse his decision.

Axios queried leading 2020 hopefuls about their thoughts on the embassy, which Trump moved from Tel Aviv last year.

While several candidates — including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (Democrat-New York), and Cory Booker (Democrat-New Jersey) — criticized the move, they said that they did not think returning it to Tel Aviv would accomplish much.

“Now that the embassy has been moved, I do not see moving it back as either practical or productive, and believe we should focus on reclaiming our status as a trusted mediator, as we work towards peace and a two-state solution,” Booker told Axios.

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Cory Booker (D- NJ), speaks at the 2019 Essence Festival, July 6, 2019, in New Orleans. (Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

Biden said he “would reopen our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians,” while Gillibrand would reopen “the diplomatic mission to the Palestinians” and restart USAID programs.

Several other candidates did not respond, but Axios collected some of their previous comments on the topic.

Here’s a list of who said whether or not they would move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv:

Joe Biden: No, but he “would reopen our consulate in East Jerusalem to engage the Palestinians.”

Elizabeth Warren: Didn’t respond.

Kamala Harris: Didn’t respond.

Pete Buttigieg: No — “I don’t know that we’d gain much.”

Bernie Sanders: Refused to comment.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks to supporters during an election night watch party hosted by the New York State Democratic Committee, November 6, 2018, in New York, after being re-elected. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Kirsten Gillibrand: No, but she called the move to Jerusalem “unproductive and impulsive” and said that she would “undertake new diplomatic initiatives to restart peace negotiations, including reopening the diplomatic mission to the Palestinians.”

Julian Castro: Didn’t respond.

Amy Klobuchar: No, but she called it an “unfortunate” move.

Cory Booker: No, but he said he opposed the move.

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