Facing criticisms from Republicans of not being sufficiently pro-Israel, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum sought to clarify his position and allay concerns Tuesday.
Gillum’s platform: A statement from his campaign for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, in which Gillum asserted “ensuring lasting safety and security for Israel is an unquestionable priority and that building peace is one of the great causes of our time.”
The candidate notes that the restorative concept of “tikkun olam” is “important and necessary in Israel, where the deadly cycle of violence incited by Hamas continued for yet another year.”
The Democratic nominee describes his own visit to Israel, where he “met Israeli and Palestinian children, who looked at me with the same hope in their eyes,” before again clarifying his position that Israel is besieged.
“I saw first hand how the threat of Katyusha rockets affected the everyday lives of Israelis — no one could deny that ensuring lasting safety and security for Israel is an unquestionable priority and that building peace is one of the great causes of our time,” Gillum asserted.
“Let us work together to fight the scourge of anti-Semitism. Let us look forward to the day when Israeli and Palestinian boys and girls will grow up with peace, security, and prosperity. Let us work together in the cause of peace, to stand with Israel and with all people yearning to be free from violence,” Gillum added.
As the Tampa Bay Times reported this week, Gillum has had to clarify his position on Israel.
While he supports the “two-state solution,” Gillum does not support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, despite having gotten money from the BDS-linked Dream Defenders.
He also has gone on record saying he did not support the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.