November 23, 2020 — New York
American Jewish Committee (AJC) welcomed the selection by President-elect Biden of Antony Blinken, his longtime national security advisor and a former Deputy Secretary of State, as the nation’s 71st Secretary of State.
Blinken held the No. 2 post in the State Department in the final two years of the Obama administration, after two years as Deputy National Security Advisor and four years as National Security Advisor to then-Vice President Biden. He previously directed the Democratic staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when Biden was Chairman and Ranking Member, and held State Department and National Security Council positions in the Clinton administration.
“Tony Blinken has the breadth and depth of experience to ably oversee the implementation of U.S. foreign policy under President Biden,” said AJC CEO David Harris, who has met with Blinken on numerous occasions in the latter’s various posts. “He is intimately familiar with the full scope of the President-elect’s foreign policy views, as well the issues of utmost concern to the Jewish community, including full-throated support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, widening the growing circle of Arab-Israel peace, the fight against global antisemitism, and the danger posed by Iran and its proxies.”
As Deputy Secretary of State, Blinken addressed the 2015 AJC Global Forum in Washington – filling in for then-Secretary of State John Kerry, who had recently been injured in a bicycle accident. He has made other appearances before AJC audiences, including in this year’s Virtual Global Forum, in which he debated foreign policy with a former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Trump, K. T. McFarland.
In that June 2020 presentation, Blinken reaffirmed the former Vice President’s support for Israel and his opposition to the BDS movement.
“You can count on Joe Biden to make sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself, to honor the bipartisanship traditions of U.S. support for Israel, to safeguard, not put at risk, Israel’s future as a Jewish, and democratic state,” Blinken declared. “Joe Biden has spoken out strongly and stood strongly against the BDS movement. He’s also been very clear that he would not tie military assistance to Israel to things like annexation or other decisions by the Israeli government with which we might disagree.”
Blinken, who spent part of his childhood in Paris, is regarded as a strong proponent of transatlantic partnership. Born of Jewish parents and the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, he has spoken out forcefully over the years on the urgency of combating antisemitism and other bigotries, and the safeguarding of universal human rights.
“AJC looks forward to the Senate confirmation process and, when that is completed, to working with Secretary Blinken in his extraordinarily important new role,” Harris added.