From the Campaigns
As Election Day approaches, Moment reached out to four experts—two campaign workers, and two outside experts—to discuss the candidates. Below, read the full interviews with David Friedman, from the Donald Trump campaign, and Laura Rosenberger, from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Read Moment‘s interviews with outside experts here.
Interviews by Ellen Wexler
From the Trump Campaign
Interview with David Friedman, a Trump campaign advisor on U.S.-Israel relations
In a Trump presidency, how might our policies toward Israel change?
In a Trump administration, there will be no daylight between the U.S. and Israel. Israel will not be pressured into making concessions against its will. A Trump administration will recognize that the Middle East peace process will not move forward unless and until the Palestinians first renounce violence and accept Israel as a Jewish state.
What would be the future of American military assistance to Israel?
Military cooperation and assistance would continue to grow. Israel is America’s key partner in the global battle against radical Islamic jihad.
What would a Trump presidency mean for the Middle East?
A Trump presidency will reestablish the leadership of the U.S. in the region. It also will restore clarity and stability as our allies will know they can count on our support and our enemies will see less opportunity for rogue behavior.
Why should Jews vote for Trump?
Trump will bring unqualified American support and assistance to the state of Israel and make it a top priority to win the fight against global jihadism.
What role would the Jewish community play in a Trump presidency?
Mr. Trump is very tied in to the Jewish community. He works with many Jewish leaders and has a keen understanding of issues which are of particular importance to the Jewish community. He has a track record of fighting anti-Semitism in all its ugly manifestations.
From the Clinton Campaign
Interview with Laura Rosenberger, a foreign policy advisor at Hillary For America
In a Clinton presidency, how might our policies toward Israel change?
Throughout her career, Hillary Clinton has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and deeply appreciates the importance of America’s bond with Israel. Our relationship with Israel has never been more important than today, as we face a convergence of trends—Iran’s destabilizing activities, the threats from ISIS and radical jihadism and efforts to delegitimize Israel on the world stage. And amidst these external threats, Israel is facing a spate of violence at home. As president, Hillary will take that relationship to the next level, working together to develop a common understanding of the shared threats we face and undertaking joint efforts to address them. She will protect Israel’s security, confront regional threats facing the U.S. and Israel, and fight back against efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. Israel needs a strong, steady and reliable American partner who will stand in its corner. Hillary is that partner.
What would be the future of American military assistance to Israel?
Hillary believes Israel’s security is a strong and enduring national interest for the United States. Israel must be able to defend itself. During her time at the State Department, U.S.-Israel security cooperation was described by Israeli officials as “unprecedented,” and she would continue that commitment to Israel’s security as president. Some of her first actions in office will include inviting the Israeli prime minister to the White House and dispatching a delegation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to meet with senior Israeli commanders. She will continue to guarantee Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge; work to increase support for Israeli rocket and missile defense, like the Iron Dome, Arrow Three and David’s Sling; and expand shared security and intelligence operations and U.S.-Israel joint military exercises.
How would the U.S. immigration system operate or be reformed?
As president, Hillary will fight for comprehensive immigration reform that provides a full and equal path to citizenship, treats every person with dignity, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hardworking people into the formal economy. She will protect and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, put in place a simple, straightforward, accessible system for parents of DREAMers and others with a history of service and contribution to their communities to be able to make their case and be eligible for deferred action, and call on Congress to repeal the 3- and 10-year bars.
How would Clinton handle Putin and Russia—particularly Russia’s role in Ukraine and Syria?
Hillary has a proven record dealing with Putin and Russia. She knows how to get results when it is in our interest to cooperate. As Secretary of State, she succeeded in getting Russia on board with a global coalition that imposed crippling sanctions against Iran. She twisted arms in Moscow, convincing Russia to agree to a United Nations Security Council resolution that, in particular, targeted the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Council. Hillary also worked tirelessly to ensure the ratification of the New START treaty, urging members of Congress to secure the two-thirds majority necessary to pass the treaty in the Senate. And she helped to secure access for U.S. and NATO troops and supplies traveling to Afghanistan to pass through Russian territory.
But she also knows how to stand up to Russia when it undermines our interests. Hillary warned the Obama administration early about the danger of Putin returning to power, arguing that he would be intent on reclaiming lost Russian influence in its neighborhood to rebuild a lost empire. And since his return to the presidency, Putin has confirmed Hillary’s cautions and made his intentions clear. He is going to threaten and bully his neighbors, prop up dictators, and repress his own people. We need to be clear-eyed about that. On Ukraine, Hillary believes that maintaining the sanctions until Russia complies with the Minsk agreement, and getting our European partners to commit to doing so, is an immediate priority. Equally important is to give the country a real chance to succeed. And that means we should spare no effort to support those in Ukraine who are working to improve their economy and democracy, and especially to root out corruption, and to bolster Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.
On Syria, Hillary thinks Putin needs to recognize that Assad is part of the problem, not part of the solution. So far, Putin has chosen to prop up Assad and bomb the moderate opposition in Syria instead of targeting ISIS. Russia should instead help seek an end to the civil war and focus on defeating ISIS and other terrorists.
What would a Clinton presidency mean for the Middle East?
The threats emanating from the Middle East, including the dangers posed by Iran and its terrorist proxies, demand strong, smart and determined U.S. leadership. That’s why Hillary will vigorously enforce the nuclear agreement with Iran and not hesitate to take military action to protect the United States and our allies if Iran attempts to obtain a nuclear weapon. She will also work to redouble international pressure, reinforcing, and if necessary, strengthening non-nuclear sanctions on Iran to end its support for terrorist proxies that threaten Israel and destabilize the region, from Lebanon to Gaza to Syria. And she will partner with Israel to advance the two-state vision of a Jewish and democratic Israel with secure and recognized borders alongside a Palestinian state. Finally, Hillary will strengthen our alliances and partnerships to combat terrorism and improve the long-term trend lines in the region, from North Africa across the Middle East.
How would Clinton’s election impact the U.S. Supreme Court in terms of judges and judicial decisions—and in particular, religion and religious freedom issues?
As president, Hillary will appoint justices who will make sure the scales of justice are not tipped away from individuals toward corporations and special interests; who will protect a woman’s right to choose; who will protect the rights of citizens to vote, rather than billionaires’ right to buy elections; and who will protect the constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint.
As Americans, we hold fast to the belief that everyone, no matter their religion, has the right to worship—that is an idea and value our country was founded on and Hillary will make sure to appoint justices that respect it.
This is a make-or-break moment for the Supreme Court. Republicans in the Senate continue to block President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland, one of the most respected judges in the country, to become the ninth justice. It’s appalling. We chose a president—twice—and now Republicans in the Senate are acting like our votes didn’t count. But this election is bigger than just one empty seat on the court. By Election Day, two justices will be more than 80 years old—past the court’s average retirement age. The next president could end up nominating multiple justices.
Why should Jews vote for Clinton?
Hillary is a true leader in fighting for issues that are important to the Jewish community—from creating an economy that works for everyone to improving access to health care to protecting and promoting civil rights to combatting anti-Semitism and strengthening the U.S.-Israel partnership. As Senator, she supported multiple bills to ensure Holocaust survivors received restitution, worked to save Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe and fought anti-Semitism on the world stage. And she fought against racial profiling and co-sponsored legislation to give women the tools they needed to fight for equal pay.
For Hillary, it’s more than policy, it’s personal. Israel’s security was one of her bedrock principles as Secretary of State. As Secretary, Hillary reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to preserving Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge and requested increased assistance for Israel every year, from $2.55 billion when she took office to $3.1 billion in FY2013, a nearly 20 percent increase. She worked to build stronger defense programs for Israel, including upgraded Patriot missiles and the Iron Dome system, which blocked rockets from Hamas and Hezbollah and saved Israeli lives, as well as helping equip Israel with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. During her tenure, Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted our “unprecedented” security cooperation with Israel. Hillary also led international efforts to pass UN Security Council Resolution 1929, imposing the harshest sanctions on Iran in history. In 2012, she led negotiations to establish a ceasefire in Gaza and end rocket attacks from Hamas. And she tirelessly fought efforts to delegitimize Israel: calling out the UN Human Rights Council for its “structural bias against Israel,” criticizing the Goldstone Report as “one-sided,” and making sure the United States blocked UN Security Council resolutions for Palestinian statehood.
Donald Trump says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything’s negotiable. But Israel’s security is non-negotiable. And anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business being our president.
Donald Trump is simply temperamentally unfit and unqualified for the job.
Trump literally started his campaign by insulting people and has continued to do so without shame or regret. And with his latest misleading ad and divisive campaign hires, it’s clear that he is doubling down on his divisive rhetoric and dangerous plans. With Trump’s Breitbart hire, he has now chosen an equally offensive and divisive figure to drive his campaign, making it even more clear that he is temperamentally unfit to be president.
As president, Hillary will continue to stand up for the Jewish community at home and abroad. She will promote a confident, principled vision for American leadership around the world to defend Israel’s security and partner with it to advance the two-state solution. And she will redouble U.S. leadership to confront regional threats, including the dangers posed by Iran and its terrorist proxies. Hillary will oppose anti-Israel bias in UN bodies and other international forums and stand up against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement. And she will never stop advocating that America is at its best when we are inclusive, open and striving towards true equality.
What role would the Jewish community play in a Clinton presidency?
Throughout her career, Hillary has consistently consulted with the Jewish community on issues important to them, including strengthening America’s bond with Israel, ensuring Iran never gets a nuclear weapon, combatting terrorism, making health care more accessible and affordable, ensuring quality education, and promoting comprehensive immigration reform. And she believes we must continue to strengthen bonds of memory and friendship to make sure there will always be a vibrant Jewish community in America and around the world for future generations; to represent the values and integrity of the Jewish people; to provide hope and stand for justice; to feed the hungry and help those in need; to do everything we can to mend our broken world. We can all take action and learn from these values. And she will continue to engage with the Jewish community on these issues as president.
Above all, Hillary believes that America is stronger together—when we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down, and when we work together to solve our biggest challenges.