US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said support for Israel was possible without backing its “racist” government, and the needs of Palestinians must not be ignored.
In a Town Hall meeting hosted by US news channel CNN, Sanders was asked what Israel-US policy would look like under his administration.
“To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right-wing racist governments that currently exist in Israel,” Sanders said.
What's unique about Sanders on Israel-Palestine isn't his position but how he articulates it. Here he uses the term justice—and not simply peace—in reference to resolving the conflict. Justice has long been absent from the mainstream US discourse on this issue. https://t.co/Ngp0NTeMvq
— Joshua Leifer (@joshualeifer) February 19, 2020
“What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East, bringing the Israelis bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice. We could do it, we have the wealth to do it.”
It cannot just simply be that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.
He went on to speak about the situation in Gaza, citing recent statistics stating youth unemployment now stands at 70 percent, and no one is able to leave the besieged Strip.
He continued by saying he felt strongly about it, citing his Jewish heritage and the long history of persecution Jews have faced as his reason.
— Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) February 16, 2020
Sanders is seeking to challenge President Donald Trump in November’s presidential election. He won the New Hampshire’s high stakes Democratic primary earlier this month, and will now move on to more difficult battlegrounds.
Sanders launched a scathing attack on the Israeli government at a Democratic debate in December, calling for a total overhaul of policy towards the country.
The presidential hopeful has previously vowed to end unconditional US support for Israel and promising to redirect some of the annual $3.8 billion in aid to humanitarian relief in Gaza.
(Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)