Summary

Cory booker was born in 1969 and is currently serving as the junior United States Senator from New Jersey. Senator Booker’s seat will be up for election in 2020.

Booker won the 2013 special election to fill the seat left vacant by the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. He became the first African-American U.S. Senator from New Jersey and he won reelection to a full-term in 2014. In his political career, Booker served as a member of the Newark Municipal Council from 1998 to 2002. He was elected Mayor of Newark in 2006 and served in this capacity until he joined the U.S. Senate in 2013.
Senator Booker is currently serving on the Foreign Relations Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

Below is Senator Booker’s voting record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community. 

Senator Booker has been vocal about the dangers and the need to confront anti-Semitism. He has said that anti-Semitism “is un-American, is anti-American” and that “it violates most deeply our commonly held values.” 

Senator Booker spoke of Jewish values he learned from the Torah when speaking to reporters in Iowa responding to President Trump’s comments on who Jews should be loyal to: “I am a guy who studied the Torah since I was 20 years old. I know Jewish values and there are words [like] ‘Tzedakah, Chesed.’ There’s an idea in Judaism about kindness, decency and mercy… One of the greatest Jewish ideals is to welcome the stranger…These ideals are not being evident by the president of the United States.”

Senator Booker said following a fundraiser in New York City in August 2019: “[The Department of Justice and … Department of Homeland Security] … need to be doing a lot more to counter antisemitism, to counter the kind of violence we see that Jews and others are facing in this country. … We need to be doing everything we can as a culture to shun this darkness and this evil from our nation.”

Senator Booker supported the Iran nuclear deal and was against abandoning it. During the first Democratic debate on June 26, Senator Booker stated that he did not support the idea of having “a primary platform to say, unilaterally, I am going to rejoin that deal.” He argued that he would “do the best to secure this country and that region” and that he wanted to make sure that if he had the opportunity to leverage a better deal, he would do it. 

Senator Booker has stated that to him “Israel is not political” and that the U.S. has a “common cause with the state of Israel”. He supports the right of Israel to defend itself and has emphasized the need to “take steps on the global stage against a vicious act that targets Israel.” Senator Booker opposes the global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the delegitimization of Israel. He cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, a bill that aims to fight boycotts that target Israel.

Senator Booker has continuously declared his support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He opposed the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which claimed that Israel’s settlements have no legal validity.

Senator Booker did not support the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, arguing that “it should be part of negotiations for eventual final status”. Though Senator Booker voted against the Taylor Force Act in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, he expressed support for its amended version.

Senator Booker cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, a legislation that supported full funding of security assistance to Israel as outlined in the 2016 U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding. He has urged colleagues to oppose efforts to eliminate security assistance to Israel, stating that “ending security assistance to our closest ally in the Middle East at a time when Israel faces new threats emanating from Syria and continued aggression from Iran and its proxies would undermine stability in the region and harm our own national security.” Following the over 450 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel on November 13-14, 2019, Senator Booker stated that the U.S. security aid to Israel “ensured the damage wasn’t worse—that support must continue.”

In 2019, he voted against the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act which, among other things, strengthens Israel’s security, and allows a state or local government to adopt measures to divest its assets from entities that boycott Israel.

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SOURCES

Quotes Jewish values in the Torah https://twitter.com/IAStartingLine/status/1164217505864388609?s=20

Spoke out against anti-Semitism: https://jewishinsider.com/2019/08/after-meeting-with-house-dems-abbas-snubs-visiting-gop-interview-with-nadler-challenger-lindsey-boylan-shari-redstones-merger/

Supported the Iran nuclear deal https://medium.com/@SenBooker/supporting-the-iran-agreement-is-the-better-of-two-flawed-options-2cf8d84b6379

Position on reentering the Iran nuclear deal https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-first-debate-booker-the-lone-democrat-to-not-call-for-reentering-iran-deal/

Voted Against the Strengthening America’s Middle East Security Act of 2019 https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=116&session=1&vote=00016

Cosponsored the Israel Anti-Boycott Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/720/cosponsors

Did not support the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem https://www.weeklystandard.com/jenna-lifhits/democrats-divided-ahead-of-trumps-expected-recognition-of-jerusalem-as-israels-capital

Opposed UN Security Council Resolution 2334 and supported the two-state solution https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-resolution/6/cosponsors

Supported the amended version of the Taylor Force Act https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=682

Opposes conditioning security aid to Israel https://www.booker.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=824

Emphasized the importance of the U.S. security aid to Israel https://twitter.com/SenBooker/status/1195033328493178882

Cosponsored the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2497/cosponsors

Cosponsored Senate Resolution 120 that opposes the global BDS movement https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-resolution/120