The US should “absolutely” use its aid to Israel as a means to put pressure on its government to change course, Vermont progressive Bernie Sanders said on Friday.
Speaking to the centrist Pod Save America podcast, the 2020 presidential candidate said that “Our policy cannot just be pro-Israel, pro-Israel, pro-Israel. It has got to be pro-region working with all of the people, all of the countries in that area and it’s a similar position – and Hillary Clinton and I had a bit of a disagreement on this in 2016 – Saudi Arabia is a vicious ugly dictatorship.”
“I lived in Israel. I worked in a Kibbutz for a number of months. I have family in Israel. I am Jewish. I am not anti-Israel,” Sanders clarified. “I believe that the people of Israel have absolutely the right to live in peace, independence, and security, end of discussion.”
“But I think what has happened is in recent years under Netanyahu you have an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies. The role of the United States – and this is not easy – is to try to finally bring peace to the Middle East and to treat the Palestinian people with a kind of respect and dignity they deserve.”
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