“It was answered by a staffer who I think misunderstood the question,” Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has backtracked on a recent statement made to The New York Times regarding the right for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to Israel.
Last week, the Times published answers on foreign policy from all of the Democratic candidates, including to the question of whether Palestinian refugees and their descendants should have a right to return to Israel.
In response, Yang is quoted as just saying “Yes.”
On Monday, Yang recanted after being prompted to explain himself by a managing director at Thiel Capital.
“Thanks Eric. It was answered by a staffer who I think misunderstood the question. I believe that Palestinians should have a say in their future but I do not believe that all refugees and descendants have the right to return to Israel. Appreciate your calling it out,” Yang wrote on Twitter.
In Dec. 2019, Yang told the Times what he would do about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if he became the next president.
“The only acceptable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves a two-state solution that allows both the Israeli and Palestinian people to have sovereign land and self-determination,” Yang said.
“With the Israeli and Palestinian people leading the conversation, my administration would engage with all stakeholders to come up with confidence-building measures, such as a ceasefire and an end to the expansion of settlements,” he added.
According to Yang, the Palestinians should get Judea and Samaria as per the pre-1967 borders and leave Israel with control over the settlements.
The Democratic candidate also said that the U.S. embassy would remain in Jerusalem, but was less definitive in regards to the status of Jerusalem as part of a two-state solution.
“The status of Jerusalem should remain a part of any negotiated two-state solution, and we should be mindful of both Palestinian and Israeli negotiators before deciding where the embassy should be,” he said.
A Quinnipiac national poll published by CNN on Monday showed that Yang didn’t receive more than 2% support from Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters.
Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the pack with 25% followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 17% support, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 15%, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 14%, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 10% and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar with 4%.