Bravest man in Politics: Bernie Sanders harshly criticizes Israeli Occupation: ‘Absurd’ Settlements, 44% Unemployment

TeleSur

The Vermont senator called himself a “friend” and “partner” of Israel but called for an end to occuption of Palestine.

After Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders decided against attending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, he outlined his views on the Palestine-Israel conflict and the wider Middle East via video, calling himself a “partner” and “friend” of Israel but not shying away from criticizing one of the United States’ closest allies.

“To my mind, as friends – long-term friends with Israel – we are obligated to speak the truth as we see it. That is what real friendship demands, especially in difficult times,“ said Sanders.

“I am here to tell the American people that, if elected president, I will work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace as a partner and as a friend to Israel.”

Sanders then addressed the need to help Palestinians given the challenges they face. “But to be successful, we have also got to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people, where in Gaza unemployment today is 44 percent and we have there a poverty rate which is almost as high,” Sanders explained.

A week after Israel appropriated huge tracts of land in the occupied West Bank, Sanders joined the United Nations and the European Union in criticizing Israel’s expansion of settlements, saying it “undermines the peace process” and Israeli “security.”

“It is absurd for elements within the Netanyahu government to suggest that building more settlements in the West Bank is the appropriate response to the most recent violence. It is also not acceptable that the Netanyahu government decided to withhold hundreds of millions of Shekels in tax revenue from the Palestinians, which it is supposed to collect on their behalf,” Sanders said.

The Vermont senator also called for an end to the economic blockade of Gaza and a “sustainable and equitable distribution of precious water resources so that Israel and Palestine can both thrive as neighbors.”

“Peace has to mean security for every Israeli from violence and terrorism. But peace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for the Palestinian people,” said Sanders.

“Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza – once considered an unthinkable move on Israel’s part,” he added.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton attended the AIPAC conference and praised the “deep emotional connection” the U.S. shares with Israel.

The Democrat front-runner made it clear she would not remain neutral in the Israel-Palestine conflict and would invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the U.S. as one of her first moves in the White House.

Clinton also criticized the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, telling Netanyahu: “Don’t let anyone bully you, or shut down debate … especially in places of learning like college or universities.”

Sanders was the only presidential candidate to skip AIPAC this year, which hosts more than 18,000 pro-Israel advocates and lobbyists.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

CNN: “Bernie Sanders: ‘U.S. should be even-handed with Israel . . .”

14 Responses

  1. If Bernie Sanders was just a little less socialist, I would support him and drop Hillary Clinton like a soiled diaper.

    • just a little? come on, that’s just a small step to take, not a leap. He is a lot more democratic, that’s for sure. Peace

    • Lawrence – you need to drop Hillary Clinton and support Bernie. Hillary says one thing, but when she gets in office, you will not see any of her promises for the people come to fruition. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate running who is truly for the people like you and I. Hillary owes a YUGE debt to Wall Street in favors, as well as the energy companies, and a host of others. What’s more disgusting is that, from the beginning of this election cycle, Hillary has been granted untold favors by the DNC Chair, Wasserman-Schultz. As far as I’m concerned this election was rigged from the beginning for Hillary. Bernie’s plan for the Israelis and Palestinians is the most practical and would after a zillion years, maybe bring peace to the area. The only reason that murdering thug, Netanyahu keeps his war mongering up is because this country gives him $13 billion a year and nuclear weapons to continue his massacre of the Palestinians. Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of herself for kissing up to Netanyahu. Finally, Lawrence, whether or not you realize it, you are a socialist. Everyone in this country is a socialist. I, for instance am on Social Security (which I earned over 52 years of working). Does that make me a bad person? I hope you reconsider and vote for Bernie. If for no other reason than to keep Donald Trump from becoming our next President. All the experts say that only Bernie can beat Trump.

  2. RK

    Unfortunately,brave & clear sighted politicians do not get elected,so the World is full of leaders who seek conflicts than peace

  3. Being absolutely correct, objective and righteous in your contentions will get anyone unelected in 2016.

    However, if Senator Sanders was crass, passive aggressive and totally full of $#¡† he would have a chance.

  4. I was so scared of what Richard Nixon might do/stumble into, I trained myself to sleep without a mattress or a pillow back around ’71-74. It was good for me. I lost the ability to sleep on concrete/rocks somewhere around age 50, but I still don’t sleep with a pillow and I’m sure it’s partially why I don’t have backaches at the old official retirement age.

    The early 00’s put a heavy fear of Republicans into my radical soul, and I say the main objective has to be to _prevent_ any Republican from winning, Trump Cruz Kasich or whatever other stooge they can muster, they must be defeated for the Presidency, and reduced as far as possible in all the other seats at stake. Democrats have won the popular vote in the last 5 of 6 elections, it has to be kept up.

    Sanders speaks the truth on Israel/Palestine, because he is an idealist who sees the vision. Hillary goes to AIPAC and does her best to rub their rear ends with Shinola, because she knows she needs to avoid the s&*%storm that would come if she did anything else, because supporting AIPAC on Israel if kind of what has defined people as being “establishment Democrats” for the last 25 years, and she’s played the game this long, she’s gonna play another hand of it just because she knows certain donors and certain media vehicles would raise hell if she did otherwise. Pragmatic and practical, don’t annoy people you may need and whose opposition would be tough, still having total freedom of action when in office.

    So for me, although Sanders position on Israel/Palestine is far superior to Hillary’s, I have to say, please, Bernie-berners please get ready to support Hilary if she prevails, and Hillary-supporters please get ready to support Bernie if he can pull off the upset. Hillary does need the vision and the revolutionary enthusiasm of Bernie and his people, and Bernie does need the pragmatism and the knowledge-of-fighting-dirty-GOP-tricks-and-crap-for-25-years-and-more that Hillary and her people remember.

    And in the end, if we keep pushing, there will be an evolution in American policy in the Middle East. Hopefully before climate change suffocates us all in our own waste products.

    • I would never capitulate to the corporate media by supporting Clinton. It is very much Bernie or Bust for me, and for every single person I’ve met who has supported his campaign. Unfortunately the largest issues I have are with NAFTA (trade) and NATO (military expedition with Russia). Trump is to the left of Clinton on both issues, so while virtually everything would continue to get worse under Trump, I do not suspect anything would get better under Clinton. I would not vote though, or vote Green. That is in contrast to at least a few friends who would actually vote GOP instead.

  5. I love what Bernie has to say. I thought Guns and Israel were the two points where we disagreed.. but what he’s saying about Israel sounds right to me! Maybe I need to review his gun policy more closely. Maybe Bernie is right on everything. This is our chance to have a great leader who will turn this country in the right direction. Please, please, let us not blow it.

  6. If his message could really get out, in spite of msm and DNC blackout, he’d be elected in a landslide. With coattails.
    We gotta be able to take a step towards money out of our politics. We olds owe the youngs this. My idealism never died either, Bernie.

    • If independents (mainly) and unaffiliated voters (to a lesser degree) were able to participate in all of the Democratic primaries, I believe Sanders would be leading at this point. If not now, then certainly by the end. His losses in the South would have been blunted (60-40 or better as opposed to 66-33) and his Midwest challenges would have been overcome (Illinois, Ohio probably would have gone True Blue instead of just Michigan, where indys can vote).

      What a shame, the US has blown its last chance for real change. I would like to say that the social democratic movement has just begun, but I am afraid this primary loss for Sanders will disenfranchise so many who would otherwise have become active in politics. Probably turn 90% them off the political process for life.

  7. Good, but it is an indication of the sorry state of things when someone is called “the bravest man in politics” for daring to criticize the egregious crimes of Israel. Note that he is Jewish too. Would any Gentile do it?

  8. he didn’t really criticize ISRAEL;;HE oh so gently chided ISRAEL, he sure didn’t say ISRAEL is steling all the water, and withholding the taxes it collects for PALESTINIANS….just say to loud and clear, BERNIE…No more pussy footing…..

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