Trump vs Clinton: the battle heats up: 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign coverage.

Author:Wexler, Ellen



What would a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency mean for American Jews--and the issues they care about?

Each candidate has left a trail of hints, promises and commitments. But as Election Day approaches, voters want to know more about what will change--what will really change--after Jan. 20, 2017. What will be the future of Middle East policy? What role will the Jewish community play in American politics? Moment asked two experts--one Democrat and one Republican--to weigh in. Tevi Troy is a former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services and White House aide in the George W. Bush administration, and William Galston is a former domestic policy adviser in the Bill Clinton administration. Based on what we know so far, they discussed each candidate's beliefs, plans, histories, records and public statements.


In a Clinton presidency, how might our policies toward Israel change?

I think that there has been a very broad continuity of American foreign policy toward Israel--with ups and downs over the years, to be sure--and many different administrations have had spikes of conflict with particular Israeli governments and policies. But overall, I think our policy has been one of sustained support, sustained commitment to the idea of a qualitative Israeli military edge. We've never budged from that, and I would be very surprised if a Clinton administration diverted from that at all. I think Hillary Clinton is well aware of the fact that high-decibel public conflicts between the United States and Israel serve the interests neither of the United States nor of Israel. And I think that she'll work pretty hard to avoid them.

There will be differences of opinion, I'm sure. We are, after all, two sovereign nations--and no two sovereign nations, however close they are, have identical interests. And certainly at the height of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, there were deep disagreements in policy, culminating in Dwight Eisenhower's famous ultimatum to the British to stand down from their Suez adventure. In sum, I expect Secretary Clinton to continue the long-standing policy of support for Israel's existence, and certainly for Israel's qualitative military edge over any potential adversary or coalition of adversaries in the Middle East.

What would be the future of American military assistance to Israel?

My best guess is that, before the end of the current administration, there will be a new long-term military assistance agreement between the United States and Israel. And if that doesn't happen in the remainder of the Obama administration, I'm reasonably sure that it would happen very quickly in the early months of a Hillary Clinton administration. There have already been sustained negotiations as to the terms of that renewed military relationship. And it's clear that the next package will be even more robust than the package that's set to expire pretty soon.

How would the U.S. immigration system operate or be reformed?

Fundamental long-term, sustainable changes in immigration policy require legislative action. And that means that the two political parties have to find a way of reaching an agreement that has eluded them for many years. As a candidate, Secretary Clinton has committed herself to early action on immigration reform. Some think that if the Republicans lose the presidency for the third consecutive time in 2016, and if they do so in part because they had another bad showing among the rapidly expanding Hispanic electorate, more Republican leaders will be willing to reach an agreement with a Democratic...

To continue reading