For peace, ‘support Israel strongly,’ says Senate candidate Dr. Oz

Oz said that if elected, as a secular Muslim, “it’d be a great honor to articulate why Israel is so important to the Middle East and the world.”

By Ira Stoll, The Algemeiner

“The best way to have peace is to support Israel strongly, unwaveringly,” the Republican candidate for U.S .Senate in Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz, told The Algemeiner in an interview.

“I treasure Israel’s role as a democracy in the region,” Oz said, describing the country as a “thriving democracy” that is “doing a great job.”

Oz said that if elected, as a secular Muslim, “it’d be a great honor to articulate why Israel is so important to the Middle East and the world.”

He said he and his family had visited Israel at the invitation of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, the philanthropists and Republican donors. On the trip, he traveled the country, from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and down to the Red Sea.

“There is a lot to see there,” Oz said. “Gosh, these guys did something incredible.”

Oz said that if elected, he’d try to lead on foreign policy issues, perhaps seeking a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee. His television program, a health and wellness show which has run for 13 seasons, aired in 100 countries, including in Israel in both Hebrew and Arabic.

Read  Donald Trump says he will 'fully pardon' Capitol rioters if elected

Oz said that in travel related to the show, people around the world saw America as an inspiration.

Oz spoke of his close family history with the Jewish community. His father, an immigrant to America, grew up in a house with a dirt floor in Turkey, where he won a scholarship to medical school in 1944. Istanbul University’s medical school then was a refuge for Jewish doctors fleeing the Nazis. Oz’s father was trained by Jewish physicians, then immigrated to America and settled outside Philadelphia.

It was an example, Oz said, of the “American Dream”: “You work your tail off.”

Oz indicated he’d be somewhat hesitant as a senator to authorize combat by U.S. troops overseas, because of the price paid by veterans of wars. However, “we could still be very active,” he said.

Asked about the contrast on foreign policy between him and his Democratic opponent, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, John Fetterman, Oz called the Iran nuclear deal reached by President Obama “incredibly flawed.”

“We were right to withdraw from the deal,” Oz said. “Fetterman has been supportive of it the entire time.”

Oz said that he had stayed close to Miriam Adelson, who, like him, is a physician.

He said that among those who have counseled him on Israel and the Middle East are Matt Brooks and Senator Norm Coleman of the Republican Jewish Coalition; Rabbi Shmuley Boteach of the World Values Network; Republican strategist Jon Lerner, who was deputy to Ambassador Nikki Haley at the United Nations during the Trump administration; and the ambassador to Israel during the Trump administration, David Friedman, who is scheduled for an upcoming event in support of Oz.

Read  We ‘aggressively engaged’: US forces Israel to walk back PA entry policies

Oz said he was hopeful that with strong American support for Israel, the Abraham Accords would expand to include more countries. He added that he opposed the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel: “I think it’s antisemitic,” he said.

He said he supported the Taylor Force Act, a law aimed at preventing American taxpayer dollars subsidizing payments by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families.