“Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel,” the presidential hopeful told the Pod Save America podcast.
By World Israel News Staff
Sen. Bernie Sanders, running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, says that he would “absolutely” use U.S. aid to Israel as leverage to get the Israeli government to act differently. He was responding to a question on an episode of the Pod Save America podcast which aired on Saturday.
Before continuing with his reply, Sanders said that he wanted to make clear, “before the tweets start flowing in,” that he had “worked in a kibbutz for a number of months, I have family in Israel, I am Jewish, I am not anti-Israel. OK?”
In addition, said the senator, “I believe that the people of Israel have absolutely the right to live in peace, independence, and security, end of discussion. That is what I fervently believe.”
However, he then attacked the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which he has done a number of times in the past, as well.
“Under Netanyahu,” said Sanders, “you have an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies.”
In trying to achieve peace, the presidential hopeful told the podcast program that the U.S. has to “treat the Palestinian people with the kind of respect and dignity they deserve. Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel. It has got to be pro-region, working with all the people, all of the countries in that area.”
In May, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), met with Sanders’ foreign policy adviser, Matt Duss, to discuss the Trump administration’s “hostile approach” and “destructive policies,” according to WAFA, the news agency of the Palestinian Authority.
The report said that Ashwari and Duss agreed that Trump’s policies “undermine the prospects of peace and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to freedom.”