Sanders on Israel/Palestine

Sanders on Israel/Palestine

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

In April 2019, Sanders said he’s “100% pro-Israel.”

It means whatever else he says that differs from this statement should be weighed suspiciously.

Being “100%” for Israel means supporting or turning a blind eye to its wars of aggression, its land theft, ethnic cleansing, targeted killings, mass arrests, torture, gulag imprisonment, Gaza’s suffocating blockade, its assault on free expression, assembly and movement, its bulldozed homes, and neighborhood incursions, terrorizing Palestinian families, traumatizing young children.

It means endorsing or ignoring its daily human and civil rights abuses, its militarized occupation harshness, its oppressing Palestinians for praying to the wrong God, its economic strangulation, roadblocks, checkpoints, separation walls, electric fences, and other barriers — treating Jews one way, Palestinians and Arab citizens another.

In written remarks to AIPAC in 2016, Sanders said “Israel is one of America’s closest allies and we – as a nation – are committed not just to guaranteeing (its survival), but also to its people’s right to live in peace and security,” adding:

As president, he’d “work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace as a partner and as a friend to Israel,” belying reality.

The US and Israel abhor peace and stability, why the Middle East is the world’s leading hot spot — to remain this way no matter which right wing of the US war party controls things.

In Israel, the vast majority of Knesset members are militant right-wing extremists and/or Arab-hating religious fundamentalists.

Claiming he’s “a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people” defied reality as well. When did he ever introduce legislation supporting their rights? Never!

Saying “attacks of all kinds against Israel” must end was and remains code language for wanting Palestinians denied their international law guaranteed right of self-defense.

Supporting Israel’s preemptive wars, he falsely claimed its 2014 Gaza war followed “weeks of indiscriminate rocket fire into its territory and the kidnapping of (its) citizens.”

So-called Operation Protective Edge was planned months in advance, naked Israeli aggression unrelated to Hamas rockets, launched only in self-defense after repeated Israeli provocations. 

Sanders couldn’t and likely still can’t get his facts straight, including false claims about Hamas “construct(ing) a network of tunnels for military purposes (sic).”

They’re a vital lifeline, supplying goods essential to survive, restricted or prohibited by Israel’s suffocating blockade, one of many examples of its genocidal policy – what Sanders never explains.

What to make of his recent comments on Israel/Palestine, tweeting:

“The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people.” 

“I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.” 

“For that reason, I will not attend their conference,” separately adding:

“As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region.”

What has he done for nearly 30 years in Congress to further his above pledge? He’s gone along with what benefits Israel at the expense of fundamental Palestinian rights and regional peace.

During Tuesday’s Dem shouting match in South Carolina, ahead of its upcoming primary, Sanders was asked if he’d move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, saying:

“The answer is it’s something we would take into consideration,” adding:

“I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months, but what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country.”

Netanyahu regime foreign minister Israel Katz shot back, calling his remark “shocking,” ignoring its accuracy, the same true about the vast majority of Israeli politicians, including right-wing extremist Katz.

Make no mistake. If Sanders becomes Dem standard bearer and defeats Trump in November, a long shot but possible, US one-sided support for Israel over Palestinian rights will stay rock solid as it’s been since the Jewish state’s creation — Jack Kennedy’s time in office the sole exception to the rule.

Sanders admitted it saying as president he’d “absolutely protect the independence and security of Israel,” adding:

“(W)e cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinians” — what he’s always done as a House and Senate member.

Is it credible to believe that would change if he advances to the nation’s highest office with nearly all congressional Dems and Republicans one-sidedly supporting Israel, dismissive of Palestinian rights?

Like the vast majority of US politicians, Sanders time and again says one thing while going another way, based on his voting record.

There’s no possibility that he could ascend to the nation’s highest office without having being vetted to go along with continuity, including one-sided US support for Israel. 

Hardline dark forces run things in Washington. Presidents and congressional leaders serve their interests.

No matter who succeeds Trump in 2021 or 2025, dirty business as usual won’t miss a beat.

Only a popular revolution could change things if persisted with tens of millions in the streets supporting it longterm.

Voting is a waste of time, changing nothing when elections are held, how things have been throughout US history — nothing in prospect suggesting that could change.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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