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Views on Israel of U.S. Presidential Candidates 2020:
Jay Inslee

(1951 - )

Jay Robert Inslee* was born on February 9, 1951, and grew up in Seattle, Washington, where his father was a high school teacher and his mother worked as a clerk at Sears & Roebuck.

In 1969, Inslee graduated from Seattle’s Ingraham High School, where he was an honor-roll student and star athlete. He played football and led his high school basketball team to a state championship his senior year.

Graduating at the height of the Vietnam War, Inslee received student deferments from the draft and attended the University of Washington. He worked his way through college and graduated with a B.A. in economics in 1973. He then earned a law degree from Willamette University.

Inslee first got into public service to fight for a new public high school in his community. He then went on to serve in the state legislature from 1989 until 1992, when he was elected to represent the 4th Congressional District in rural Eastern Washington. He lost his bid for in 1994.

He made his first run for governor of Washington in 1996, coming in fifth in the primary Inslee then served as regional director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton.

He later moved back to the Seattle area and was elected to represent Washington’s 1st congressional district in 1998. While in Congress, Inslee voted against the Iraq War in 2003.

He was reelected six times before announcing that he would make another run for the governorship in the 2012 election. He resigned from Congress to focus on his campaign. He was elected Washington’s 23rd governor and re-elected in 2016.

Inslee co-wrote a book, Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy, about a national program to fight climate change through clean energy innovation and job-creation.

Inslee is married to his high school sweetheart, Trudi, and has three sons.

On March 1, 2019, Inslee announced his presidential campaign bid, stating his main campaign focus would be combating climate change. Unable to generate a following, Inslee withdrew from the race in August.


  • Asked about the anti-Semitic BDS movement, “I’m not a member of that movement. I don’t agree with everything in that movement, but I do believe freedom of speech has to be defended in the United States.” (Michigan Radio, July 30, 2019)

  • “It is important for all leaders to recognize the rising anti-Semitism that we face all leaders have to speak up against that hate-filled rhetoric and violence.” (American Jewish Committee, June 3, 2019)


  • In response to a question about relocating the American embassy, Inslee said, “I don’t have an answer to that.” He added: “I will do whatever is necessary to keep the possibility alive for a two-state solution and I believe that is the ultimate goal, along with the preservation for the security of a democratic Israel. I will pursue whatever is appropriate to those goals.” (JewishInsider, July 15, 2019)

  • “I intend to speak out every chance I get against anti-Semitism, to speak in favor of a strong, democratic Israel and a two-state solution.” (American Jewish Committee, June 3, 2019)


  • “It is clear who breached the agreement — it was Donald Trump. Donald Trump tore up the agreement, not Iran. I see no reason why that cannot be reinstituted. Iran has not indicated in any way that they want to breach the agreement; it is Donald Trump who has created this crisis, it was Donald Trump who made a giant misjudgment, and it’s Donald Trump who’s hired the same people in his administration that led to [the Iraq] War.”

    According to Inslee, the agreement Iran was “containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions and it was being effective. And the international community was working with us.”

    By withdrawing from the Iran deal, Trump has “opened up the door to the nuclearization of Iran,” he said. “He’s personally responsible for this, not the United States of America.” (JewishInsider, July 11, 2019)

*AICE does not rate or endorse any candidate for political office.

Sources: Inslee Our Moment;
Washington Governor Jay Inslee;
“Jay Inslee,” Wikipedia;
Washington Governor Jay Inslee;
Comments to American Jewish Committee, (June 3, 2019);
Jacob Kornbluh, “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee blames Trump, not Iran for crisis,” JewishInsider, (July 11, 2019);
Ben Jacobs, “Jay Inslee on Jerusalem embassy: I don’t have an answer to that,” JewishInsider, (July 15, 2019;
Malak Silmi, “Presidential candidate Jay Inslee visits a Detroit mosque; talks Trump, Muslim Ban,” Michigan Radio, (July 30, 2019).