on the trail

Bernie Sanders: Leverage U.S. aid to end Israeli ‘racism’

Michael Stokes/Flickr

Bernie Sanders attends a rally at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia on July 15, 2019.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on Tuesday that he seeks only to be “even-handed” on the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Responding to a question from an IfNotNow activist, Sanders said: “All that I have ever said on this issue [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict], is that U.S. foreign policy should be even-handed. That’s all — even-handed.”

The senator said that “we respect Israel. Israel has every right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinian people. And as somebody who is proudly Jewish, to be critical of a right-wing Netanyahu government in Israel is not to be antisemitic.”

In a portion of the video edited out by IfNotNow, Sanders also said “the fault is not all with Israel. You got very poor and corrupt Palestinian leadership.” He said the goal of U.S. policy should be “to bring people in the region together — Palestinians and Israelis — to create a workable peace that works for both parties, not just one.”

Sanders added: “The United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel, and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel.”

Last month, during a podcast interview, Sanders said he would support leveraging aid to Israel to pressure the Israeli government on its policies.

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered each morning in a must-read newsletter.