Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel recently took to Twitter to slam fellow Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg, or Mayor Pete, for his approach to Israel. Gravel made the comment following reports that Buttigieg would not reverse President Donald Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, per The Hill.
"The appeal of Buttigieg and other centrists: a slightly kinder face on the same policies that have been condoning Israeli aggression and apartheid for decades.""If you purse your lips and frown while [Israel prime minister Benjamin] Netanyahu annexes the West Bank, you're little better than Trump," he added.
Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem came after he recognized the ancient holy city as Israel's capital — a move that Vox noted is a break with decades of U.S. policy. The publication added that the move could increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, who already have a strained relationship.
Gravel's criticism of Buttigieg stems from the fact the 37-year-old recently admitted he didn't think Trump "did the right thing" but refuses to push back.
"Here's the problem with what he did," Buttigieg said on Axios on HBO. "If you're going to make a concession like that...you don't do that without getting some kind of concession."
"Instead, we've seen the Israeli government continue to act in ways that are detrimental to peace, and therefore I believe detrimental to U.S. interests," he added.Buttigieg did use his Axios appearance to criticize Trump's recognition of Golan Heights, suggesting it could have been used in a negotiation as part of a package. He added that Trump likely decided to recognize Golan Heights to impact Israeli domestic politics, which Buttigieg claims should be the "last reason" that the U.S. should be conducting foreign policy. Buttigieg stressed that foreign policy should instead be conducted with American values, interests, and international relationships in mind.
The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, also said that honoring the right of return of Palestinian refugees is something that can occur through peace negotiations, and added that candidates should declare it as a pre-condition for peace.
Gravel has been outspoken about his fellow Democratic presidential contenders during his long-shot campaign. He recently criticized the former vice president and presidential hopeful Joe Biden for the "terrifying emptiness" of his campaign. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the 89-year-old former Alaskan senator has been highly critical of Biden and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as a whole. He believes the DNC "cheated" Bernie Sanders out of the 2008 Democratic nomination and is skeptical about moderates like Biden and Buttigieg.