Democratic presidential candidate Joe Sestak said on Friday that he would move the US embassy out of Jerusalem’ if he was elected, according to a Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) report on Sunday.
“We have to have a two-state solution. I believe the administration made a mistake to move the embassy to Jerusalem,” Sestak said. “That will be a major impediment, if not a permanent impediment, to try to get a two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sestak, 67, a former Pennsylvania congressman, is the first candidate hoping to clinch the 2020 presidential election to say he would reverse Trump's relocation of the embassy.
Sestak also said he would rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if elected. “America broke its word,” he said. “We must keep our word and, as long as they have not violated it, so that’s why I support getting back into the accord.”
Sestak also told JNS that he would consider renewing US assistance to the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and have the US rejoin the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the U.N. Human Rights Council and reopen the Palestine Liberation Organization Mission in Washington, D.C.
The former navy admiral is also not in favor of Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights but did not say he would reverse it.
“I don’t think that was the right thing to say," Sestak said. "That the United States unilaterally should say that Israel has sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This needs to be part of the process toward a two-state solution. The status quo was where it was. They obviously do have control of it for we need to resolve that” through the two-state solution.
Sestak was one of the first supporters of the left-wing J Street when it was initially established in 2007 and also pressed Obama to influence Israel to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip. At the time, his views on Israel were not commonly heard and when he ran for Senate in 2010, pro-Israel groups rallied against him. He ultimately lost the election by a narrow margin to Republican Pat Toomey,
J Street has become increasingly powerful since then and nine years later, many Democrats share Sestak's views.