The long-time Democratic political strategist was promoted from the presumptive nominee’s campaign finance committee.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, has picked long-time political strategist Aaron Keyak to head his outreach team to the Jewish community.
As first reported by Jewish Insider on Friday, Keyak was promoted from the Biden campaign’s finance committee to get out the Jewish vote for the former vice president.
He has over a dozen years’ experience in the field, having been communications director and Middle East policy adviser for pro-Israel congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), and organizing a media outreach group that got out the 2012 Jewish vote for president Obama in the key state of Florida.
He also served briefly as executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council lobbying group before co-founding a Washington, D.C.-based consulting business called Bluelight Strategies with another Democratic political strategist.
Last month, he wrote an op-ed for The Jerusalem Post calling Biden a veteran “staunch friend of the Jewish community” who has rolled out a plan to fight anti-Semitism and opposes the BDS movement. According to Kayek, Biden has always been a “steadfast backer” of Israel, quoting him as saying, “I will not place conditions on security assistance given the serious threat Israelis face.”
Keyak may have his work cut out for him convincing U.S. Jews who put Israel high up on their list of political priorities of Biden’s pro-Israel bona fides. This is due, first and foremost, to his support for rejoining the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that was proudly formulated under President Barack Obama, in whose administration Biden served as vice president.
Israel considered the agreement a catastrophe for its long-term security, and when President Trump withdrew from it in 2018, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the move loudly.
In a video message to the annual AIPAC Conference in March, Biden also nixed the Trump peace plan, holding firm on the standard “two-state” solution, which has gone nowhere in decades.
He told the pro-Israel lobbying group that Jerusalem “has to stop the threats of annexation and settlement activity” because such moves “are taking Israel further from its democratic values, undermining support for Israel in the United States.” However, polls show a majority of Israelis support sovereignty.
The person Biden has picked to head his transition team’s foreign policy and national security policy if he wins the November election may also be disquieting to the pro-Israel crowd.
Avril Haines, Obama’s deputy CIA director, has publicly supported positions held by the extreme left-wing J Street lobbying group that promote Palestinian rights over Israel’s security.
She currently heads an organization, Columbia World Projects, that is funded by Saudi Arabian and Lebanese businessmen among others, and is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, which is heavily funded by the Muslim Brotherhood-supporting state of Qatar.