Green Party Presidential Candidate Announces Support for BDS

The Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, on Monday released a statement in support of the BDS movement against Israel.

“The United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements, demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective punishment, and defiance of international law,” the Stein campaign said in a statement. “Therefore, the Stein campaign calls for ending military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes and defying international law.”

Dr. Stein, 64, a physician and a Jewish Chicago native, announced her candidacy for president last February. In 2012, Stein was endorsed by anti-Israel linguist Noam Chomsky. She received 456,169 votes (0.36%), mostly in Alaska, Oregon and Maine.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, while criticizing Israel’s conduct during the 2014 war in Gaza and touting his empathy for the Palestinian cause, acknowledged “there is some level of anti-Semitism” in driving the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Nevertheless, Sanders is associated with some pro-BDS supporters. Just recently, Sanders appointed Dr. Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the BDS movement, to the Democratic Party drafting platform committee in order to push for changes in the party’s policy on Israel.

His brother Larry, who lives in the UK, revealed in a tweet last year that he supports BDS. “That Israel end occupation of West Bank, siege of Gaza, Palestinians in Israel equal rights. Netanyahu obstacle to peace. BDS yes,” Larry Sanders tweeted on April 20, 2015.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton addressed the matter numerous times on the campaign trail. In a letter sent to Hollywood mogul and major Democratic donor Haim Saban last year, Clinton expressed her “alarm” over the movement’s efforts attempting to “punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. “This is not the path to peace,” she wrote. “We need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and undermine Israel and the Jewish people… We need to make countering BDS a priority.”

Clinton recently reaffirmed her commitment to fighting BDS in a letter to American Jewish leaders.

Senator Chuck Schumer announced he will soon intorduce federal legislation against BDS, following New York Governor’s Andrew Cuomo’s signing of an executive order to state agencies and insituttions. “We must have a strong voice in denouncing the BDS movement and we must call it for what it is: Anti-Semitism,” Schumer said during a speech at Agudath Israel of America’s 94th annual dinner in New York on Sunday.

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