Photo Credit: Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Bernie Sander On Israel

Sen. Bernie Sanders has officially entered the 2020 presidential ring – making this a good time to examine his hostile views of the Jewish state and his uninformed and false anti-Israel statements.


Below, in no particular order, are six examples of Sanders’s anti-Israel views.

  1. Sanders says the U.S. should “rethink” military aid to Israel.

Speaking to The Intercept in September 2017, Sanders was asked whether he would, as the publication phrased the question, ever “consider voting to reduce U.S. aid to Israel – worth at least $3 billion per annum – or U.S. arms sales to the Israeli military.” Sanders gave a response that ended with, “So the answer is yes.”

  1. Sanders admitted to seeking foreign policy advice from critics of the Jewish state.

In a 2016 interview with Meet the Press, the Democratic candidate gave the following reply when asked about his plans for secretary of defense should he become president: “We talked to people like Jim Zogby, talked to the people on J Street, to get a broad perspective of the Middle East.”

J Street has faced mounting criticism for the policies it advocates, which many argue are harmful to the Jewish state.

And James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, is notoriously anti-Israel. He refers to the BDS movement as a “legitimate and moral response to Israeli policy.”

In the past, Zogby has attempted to rationalize Palestinian terrorism against Israelis, saying that he was trying to understand “why the perpetrators [of terrorist acts] acted as they did or why there are people whose anger and despair bring them to support this or that crime.” Zogby, who is of Lebanese descent, has described Hezbollah terrorists as “the Lebanese armed resistance.”

3. Outdoing Hamas’s own propaganda figures, Sanders falsely claimed that Israel killed “over 10,000 innocent people” during the 2014 Gaza War.

“I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza,” Sanders told the NY Daily News.

Israel and the Palestinians published different figures for the death toll of Operation Protective Edge, but both put the number of dead well below 2,500, including both civilians and militants. Israel claims that 1,408 of 2,203 Palestinians killed in the war were militants. Hamas claimed more than half were civilians.

  1. Sanders accused Israel of a “disproportionate” response during the Gaza War.

By calling Israel’s self-defense “disproportionate,” what exactly is Sanders advocating? That instead of acting to minimize the terrorist threat against its civilians, Israel should respond to every act of Palestinian terrorism with an equivalent act?

Sanders’s statement is preposterous, nonsensical, and negates Israel’s ability to defend itself and degrade Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure.

5. Sanders claimed that Israel bombed “hospitals” during the Gaza war, implying that the Jewish state actually attacked civilian medical facilities.

“My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been,” Sanders told the NY Daily News.

Sanders left out that the IDF bombed a wing of Gaza’s empty Al-Wafa Hospital, with the Israeli army saying the building was being used as a Hamas terrorist command center and a launching site for rockets. No casualties were reported in the bombing, and Israel first fired numerous warning shots and ensured that the building was entirely evacuated. Instead of blasting Hamas for using a hospital to house its terrorist infrastructure and a launching pad for rockets fired at Israel, Sanders mindlessly defamed the IDF.

6. Sanders compared the democratic, pro-human rights, terrorist-condemning Israeli government and society to the anti-democratic, human rights abusing, terrorist-supporting Palestinian leadership, as well as Palestinian society in general, which is also mostly supportive of terrorism.

This gem was made in the speech he would have delivered had he attended the 2016 convention of the pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Sanders instead boycotted the AIPAC convention and his 2016 campaign released the text of the speech. Sanders was the only presidential candidate not to speak at AIPAC’s conference that year.

“The truth is there are good people on both sides who want peace. And the other truth is there are despots and liars on both sides who benefit from continued antagonism,” said Sanders.

Which “despots” exactly exist on the Israeli side? Is he really comparing some members of the democratically-elected, human rights-supporting Israeli government to actual despots on the Palestinian side?

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has bypassed elections since 2007, ruling instead by enacting annual “emergency” decrees. His Fatah party’s official “military wing” is the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade terrorist group, which is responsible for scores of murderous terror attacks. And the fascist Hamas leadership, which calls for the murder of Jews and destruction of Israel, rules over a notoriously bloody tyranny in the Gaza Strip.