Julian Castro was born in 1974 and served as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for U.S. President in 2020.

The youngest member of President Obama’s cabinet, Castro was appointed in 2014 and served until the end of President Obama’s second term. A Harvard graduate, Castro started his political career by running for and being elected in the San Antonio City Council from 2001 to 2005. Prior to being appointed Secretary, Castro served as the Mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He was first elected in 2009 and reelected in 2011 and 2013. If elected, Castro would become the first Hispanic-American President of the United States.

Below is former Secretary Castro’s record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community.

In response to Israel’s decision to ban the entry of Democratic Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Secretary Castro criticized the decision, tweeting: “Make no mistake, the Israeli government just barred two elected members of the U.S. Congress from an official trip just to appease President Trump’s fragile ego. This is appalling. They should be allowed to enter.”

Julian Castro was part of President Obama’s cabinet during the negotiations with Iran for the nuclear deal and supported the deal. He declared that if he is elected President and if Iran continues to comply with the terms of the agreement, he would reenter the agreement. Castro argued that the nuclear agreement was a landmark achievement that prevented Iran from developing nuclear arms for more than three years. He reiterated his position on reentering the Iran deal during the first Democratic debate on June 26. 

Former Secretary Castro supports the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict arguing that through this solution Israel will continue to be both a democratic and a Jewish state.

Asked if he supports conditioning security aid to Israel to pressure Israel to stop its settlement expansion, Secretary Castro sai that he “wouldn’t take it off the table”, but that he hoped “we don’t get to that point.”

Following the November 2019 announcement of President Trump’s administration that it would no longer view Israeli settlements as “inconsistent with international law”, Secretary Castro called the decision a “grave error that severely damages the prospects for peace, further isolates America, & undermines our moral leadership.” He believes that “these settlements are a clear violation of international law and push us further away from a two-state solution.”

Former Secretary Castro stated that, if elected, he would keep the U.S. embassy in Israel in Jerusalem. While arguing that it was made “a mistake in moving the embassy to Jerusalem without making that part of a larger, negotiated peace agreement and a two-state solution”, he added that he did not believe “it would be productive to go backwards at this point.”

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