[Last month,] at a CNN town hall, Bernie Sanders put to rest the idea that the 2020 Democratic primaries are going to be about Israel.
“I am 100% pro Israel,” he said. “Israel has every right in the world to exist, and to exist in peace and security, and not to be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal not just with Israel but with the Palestinian people.”
“What I believe is not radical,” Sanders admitted. “I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis. The goal must be to try to bring people together, and not just support one country which is now run by a right wing — dare I say, racist — government.”
“I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders elaborated. “But the fact of the matter is, [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is a right wing politician who is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly.”
These words are indeed not radical; they could have easily been uttered by any progressive American Jewish leader today. Sanders’ view of the Middle East can be neatly summed up as liberal Zionism. And despite all the ink spilled about how revolutionary Sanders will be on Israel, how far he’ll push the Democratic party, and how much of the 2020 debate will focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, last night, Sanders revealed that he sees the region in the same terms as every single other candidate running for the Democratic ticket in 2020. [Continue reading…]