PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi on Monday met with Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders, to discuss the Trump administration’s “hostile approach in the region and its destructive policies that undermine the prospects of peace and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to freedom,” WAFA reported.
Duss, born in Nyack, NY in 1972 to two evangelical parents, was described by The Nation last February as the product of the left-leaning tradition. His rise to a position of influence in the Democratic party was made possible by Trump’s 2016 election and Hillary Clinton’s defeat, which boosted Senator Sanders’ power in the party, and brought forth a new generation of progressive Democrats.
“Coming out of 2016, we recognized that he had a much bigger platform, a much bigger opportunity to move things in a progressive direction and the importance of making foreign policy part of that, which is why he asked me to join the staff,” Duss told Business Insider in February.
Duss conveyed to Ashrawi Senator Sanders’ greetings and discussed with her ways to maintain a constructive and informed dialogue with the Senator and other policy makers in Washington who are “committed to international law and the Palestinian people’s right to freedom and peace.”
They also discussed the Trump administration’s “vindictive actions against the Palestinian people and leadership,” including the denial of Ashrawi’s visa application to the US.
Duss expressed Senator Sanders’ dismay and objection of what he called a “petty step.”
In his Business Insider interview, Duss said he didn’t think Bernie Sanders “wants to radically reorient the relationship [between the US and Israel]. He’s been clear he supports Israel’s right to exist, he supports the two state solution.”
Acknowledging that Sanders is on opposite sides with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Duss accused of “literally forming an alliance with fascists, people who are identified as terrorists,” the foreign adviser, who could one day become Secretary of State should God decide to punish us for some reason, stated: “We support the rights of Israelis and Palestinians to live in security and dignity. And we have to recognize when policy, for example the settlements or the occupation, undermine those goals. So the US needs to speak clearly about that and when necessary we need to take steps to put pressure to stop those policies. [Sanders is] going to be willing to do that.”
Yes, friends, we’re going to miss President Trump…