“The American people support the Jewish community, and we support Israel,” U.S. Senate candidate Bill Hagerty wrote in an op-ed Thursday for The Times of Israel but also called for a two-state solution.
Hagerty, an investor, was confirmed by the Senate in July 2017 to serve as U.S. ambassador to Japan. He stepped down in July 2019 to return to Tennessee and run for Lamar Alexander’s Senate seat, The Tennessee Star reported.
President Donald Trump in July 2019 endorsed Hagerty.
In his op-ed, Hagerty praised Israel and denounced the rising anti-semitism in America and around the world.
The Tennesseans I seek to represent in the Senate stand with Israel — and Tennesseans know that, as their senator, I will support Israel. That requires calling out Israel’s enemies and making our support for Israel abundantly clear, especially for those hostile powers that deny its right to exist.
Israel is a beacon of democracy and individual liberty in a region controlled by aggressive dictators. As the United States seeks to protect peace and fight for our interests across the globe, we should continue our assistance to Israel, and we ought to support peace negotiations for a two-state solution that demilitarizes Palestine and puts the two people on a path to stability and peace. Our goal must be to end the incitement of violence among the terrorist groups that are clients of the Iranian regime.
There should be no doubt. The American people support the Jewish community, and we support Israel. Together — and under President Trump’s leadership — there will be no question. We stand with you.
Hagerty also mentioned Iran.
First and foremost, we must be explicit that we will not tolerate bullying from Tehran. We need only look at the events of recent days to be reminded that Iran — the world’s largest state sponsor of terror — is one of our most serious national security threats. Tehran is a belligerent power completely hostile to the United States, and it is at the center of the turmoil in the Middle East. We cannot allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. Period. A nuclear Iran would have disastrous consequences, allowing it to further harass its neighbors and put nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorist organizations. We must continue to work towards a permanent nuclear deal that ensures Iran will never have access to a nuclear weapon.
His comments about Iran come at a crucial time considering current events in the Middle East.
Trump on Wednesday said in a national address “Iran’s free reign of terror throughout the Middle East was over” in response to the Islamic nation’s missile attack against American and Iraqi forces in response to the president’s recent order resulting in the elimination of top Iranian general and terrorist Qasem Soleimani.
Trump also said he would never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.
Hagerty was vocal in voicing support for the elimination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.