Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took a swipe at Israel at the Democrat debate in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday night, saying “we have to be rethinking who our allies are … and not continue to support brutal dictatorships.”
Sanders was responding to a question on foreign policy posed by MSNBC moderator Andrea Mitchell, who challenged candidates by asking whether they would pull back from U.S. support to Saudi Arabia if that meant emboldening Iran.
Sanders answered by criticizing not only the Saudi regime, but also Israel — the region’s only real democracy — as well.
“Saudi Arabia not only murdered [journalist Jamal] Khashoggi, but this is a brutal dictatorship which does everything it can to crush democracy, [and] treats women as third-class citizens,” he said.
Sanders added, “We have got to bring Saudi Arabia and Iran together,” without explaining how he would bridge the centuries-old Sunni-Shia divide and the competing ambitions of the two regimes.
The same thing goes with Israel and the Palestinians. It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel. But we must treat the Palestinian people as well with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
What is going on in Gaza right now, where youth unemployment is 70 or 80 percent, is unsustainable. So we have to be rethinking who our allies are around the world, work with the United Nations, and not continue to support brutal dictatorships.
The “democratic socialist” senator from Vermont implied that Israel is responsible for high unemployment in Gaza, rather than the Hamas terrorist group, which rules the territory brutally.
Sanders has been endorsed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), all of whom have been harshly critical of Israel. The latter also support boycotting Israel and have made a number of antisemitic statements since taking office earlier this year.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.