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Summary

Michael Bloomberg, who is Jewish, is a businessman and philanthropist who served as the 108th Mayor of New York City. On March 4, 2020 Mr. Bloomberg announced that he was dropping out of the presidential race.

Bloomberg is co-founder, CEO, and owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, software and mass media company that bears his name. Michael Bloomberg began his career at a private securities brokerage firm, before creating his own company in 1981. From 1996 to 2002, he served as chair of the board of trustees of Johns Hopkins University, his alma mater. Bloomberg is today one of the richest individuals in the United States and in the world.

Michael Bloomberg served for three consecutive terms as the 108th Mayor of New York City, after being first elected in the 2001 mayoral election. Bloomberg was a Democrat before seeking office, but he switched his party affiliation and ran for mayor as a Republican. He won his second term in 2005. After leaving the Republican Party in 2007, Bloomberg ran and won his third term in 2009 as an Independent on the Republican ballot line. In October 2018, Bloomberg changed his political party affiliation back to Democratic.

Below is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s record and public positions on issues important to the Jewish community.

Former Mayor Bloomberg was initially against the Iran deal, but stated that he believed it was “a mistake for President Trump to unilaterally walk away from it.” Mr. Bloomberg supports re-joining the existing nuclear agreement with Iran, but argued that the U.S. “must also be ready to address other inadequacies in the deal, which include the need to extend fast-approaching sunset clauses, curtail Iran’s ballistic missiles, end its destabilizing regional activities and institute more intrusive monitoring.” 

Mayor Bloomberg has strongly condemned the international movement that calls for boycotts of Israel, calling it “an outrage” that is “totally misplaced.” Nevertheless, as Mayor of New York City, he defended the decision of a New York academic institution to sponsor a forum featuring two leaders of the BDS movement. Bloomberg stressed his support for Israel and said he “couldn’t disagree more violently” with the viewpoint espoused by the BDS movement, but added that he also very strongly agreed with the institution’s right to sponsor a forum on any topic of its choice. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended Israel’s actions during the Gaza conflict in 2014. Mr. Bloomberg argued that the civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip are a tragedy, but Israel was not obliged to respond proportionally when Hamas militants were firing rockets at innocent Israeli citizens. He has argued that the U.S. “commitment to Israel’s security, prosperity and democracy is based on shared values, not just common interests,” and that he will “ensure that commitment remains unshakeable.” He has statedd that the U.S. should maintain its current level of security aid to Israel.

Mr. Bloomberg supports the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has argued that “you have to have a two-state solution because of the fact that both sides think God gave them the same piece of land – you have got to split the piece of land and each will have half of it.” He does not believe that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants have the right to return to Israel.

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