Israel’s government is racist and does not have to be backed by those who support the Israelis and want peace, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Tuesday during a CNN town hall event in Las Vegas.
The independent Vermont senator took questions from the audience along with fellow contenders for the Democratic nomination Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
“To be for the Israeli people and to be for peace in the Middle East does not mean that we have to support right wing racist governments that currently exist in Israel,” the veteran Vermont senator replied, much to the satisfaction of an applauding audience.
Sanders also spoke about the Gaza Strip:
“Take a look at what’s going on in Gaza right now. You got youth unemployment, 70 percent, you know people can’t even leave the area,” he said.
“What American foreign policy has got to be about in the Middle East is bringing the Israelis, bringing the Palestinians together under the banner of justice.”
Sanders said: “It cannot just simply be that we’re just pro-Israel and we ignore the needs of the Palestinian people.”
“We’ve got to pay attention to both and by the way, it’s not a dissimilar situation with regard to Iran and Saudi Arabia. For years, we have loved Saudi Arabia, our wonderful ally. Only problem is the people run that country are murderous thugs,” he said.
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