Summary

Beto O’Rourke was born in 1972. He is a former U.S. Representative.

O’Rourke was elected to represent Texas’ 16th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. He was reelected in 2014 and 2016. Before joining the House, he served as a member on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011. Between 2005 and 2006, he served as Mayor pro tempore of El Paso.

O’Rourke declined to seek reelection in 2018 and ran against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. O’Rourke’s campaign received significant attention, but ultimately lost the race.

Below is former U.S. Representative O’Rourke’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community.

After Israel’s decision to ban the entry of Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, former Congressman O’Rourke criticized President Trump in a tweet: “President Trump, you show great weakness every single day—when you attack women of color, when you degrade the office of the president, and when you ask our allies to stoop to your level.”

In July 2019, former Congressman O’Rourke said he is unsure if he would reverse the decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem:  “I don’t know if I would reverse the decision, I think it was unnecessarily provocative, now that it has been made, I don’t know if there’s a lot of sense in reversing it,”

Former U.S. Representative O’Rourke supported the Iran nuclear deal. Recently he has suggested that he would reenter the Iran deal if Iran abides by it and he is elected President. He reiterated his support for reentering the agreement with Iran during the first Democratic debate on June 26. 

Former Representative O’Rourke declined to cosponsor a resolution that objected to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claimed that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity. He has stated that he supports the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Former Representative O’Rourke did not support the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, considering it “unnecessarily provocative”. 

In 2014, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, in 2014 O’Rourke voted against a bill that would have funded Israel’s Iron Dome during the Gaza conflict.

In 2018, O’Rourke cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding.

Former Congressman O’Rourke recently called the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “racist” and stated that he does not think “Netanyahu represents the true will of the Israeli people or the best interests of the U.S.-Israel relationship, or any path for the people of the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip, and the State of Israel.”

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SOURCES

Criticized President Trump after Israel’s decision to ban Omar and Tlaib: https://twitter.com/BetoORourke/status/1162025938063937537

Supported the Iran nuclear deal https://medium.com/@RepBetoORourke/iran-nuclear-deal-8ba88aa579f

Supports reentering the Iran nuclear deal https://thehill.com/policy/defense/439712-2020-dems-rebuke-trump-on-iran-say-theyd-put-us-back-in-nuclear-deal

Supports the two-state solution https://thehill.com/policy/international/434890-orourke-on-israeli-palestinian-conflict-we-dont-have-the-best

Did not support the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuiKRNZJxp8

Unsure if he would reverse the decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem: https://jewishinsider.com/2019/07/beto-orourke-nuclear-iran-is-an-existential-threat-to-us/

Did not oppose UN Security Council Resolution 2334 https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/115-2017/h11

Cosponsored the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/5141/cosponsors

Voted against funding the Iron Dome during 2014 Gaza conflict https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-the-time-beto-o-rourke-got-burned-on-israel-1.7022796