A Jewish advocacy organization on Monday blasted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for saying parts of Baltimore and the West Bank have comparable suffering, THE HILL reports.
“What do the serious issues Baltimore’s leadership and population are confronting have to do with Palestinian life in the West Bank?” American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris asked in a statement.
“Inserting the Israel-Palestinian conflict into unrelated American political discourse serves only one purpose — to encourage those who are narrowly focused on assailing Israel for any shortcomings, failings by the Palestinian Authority.”
Sanders said on the first day of Pesach that the worst areas of Baltimore resemble the dire living conditions of some Palestinians in the West Bank.
“Poverty in Baltimore, and around this country, is a death sentence,” he said in the Maryland city. “If you are born in Baltimore’s poorest neighborhood, your life expectancy is almost 20 years shorter than if you are born in its wealthiest neighborhood.
“Fifteen neighborhoods in Baltimore have lower life expectancies than North Korea,” the Democratic presidential candidate added. “Two of them have a higher infant mortality rate than the West Bank in Palestine.
“Baltimore teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 face poorer health conditions and a worse economic outlook than those in distressed cities in Nigeria, India, China and South Africa.”
Harris on Monday said that Sanders inaccurately described the West Bank’s standard of living last weekend.
“According to CIA statistics, infant mortality in the West Bank, at 13.08 deaths per 1,000 live births, actually compares favorably to most of the developing world,” he said.
“Turkey’s rate is 18.87, Brazil’s is 18.60 and Iran’s is 38.04,” Harris added. “The U.S. infant mortality rate, at 5.87, is far from where it should be, behind the United Kingdom, at 4.38, Australia at 4.37, France at 3.28 and Israel at 3.55.
Read more at THE HILL.