…introduction by Jonas E. Alexis, VT Editor

Two cheers for Bernie Sanders, the senator from Vermont who had the political courage to say uncomfortable things about Netanyahu, the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the unconditional support for Israel in the United States.

I am even somewhat surprised that the New York Times allows him to say some of these things because Zionist hotheads like Thomas Friedman reside in the New York Times.

Sanders’ courageous move is already costing him the wrath of Alan Dershowitz, Jeffrey Epstein’s buddy. Dershowitz has recently called Sanders “a self-hating Jew,” a phraseology which has no metaphysical foundation whatsoever. In any event, we should praise Sanders for being brave here.

The U.S. Must Stop Being an Apologist for the Netanyahu Government

–by Bernie Sanders

“Israel has the right to defend itself.”

These are the words we hear from both Democratic and Republican administrations whenever the government of Israel, with its enormous military power, responds to rocket attacks from Gaza.

Let’s be clear. No one is arguing that Israel, or any government, does not have the right to self-defense or to protect its people. So why are these words repeated year after year, war after war? And why is the question almost never asked: “What are the rights of the Palestinian people?”

And why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel?

In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.

Palestinian families in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have been living under the threat of eviction for many years, navigating a legal system designed to facilitate their forced displacement. And over the past weeks, extremist settlers have intensified their efforts to evict them.

And, tragically, those evictions are just one part of a broader system of political and economic oppression. For years we have seen a deepening Israeli occupation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a continuing blockade on Gaza that make life increasingly intolerable for Palestinians. In Gaza, which has about two million inhabitants, 70 percent of young people are unemployed and have little hope for the future.

Further, we have seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s government work to marginalize and demonize Palestinian citizens of Israel, pursue settlement policies designed to foreclose the possibility of a two-state solution and pass laws that entrench systemic inequality between Jewish and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

None of this excuses the attacks by Hamas, which were an attempt to exploit the unrest in Jerusalem, or the failures of the corrupt and ineffective Palestinian Authority, which recently postponed long-overdue elections.

But the fact of the matter is that Israel remains the one sovereign authority in the land of Israel and Palestine, and rather than preparing for peace and justice, it has been entrenching its unequal and undemocratic control.

Over more than a decade of his right-wing rule in Israel, Mr. Netanyahu has cultivated an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism. In his frantic effort to stay in power and avoid prosecution for corruption, Mr. Netanyahu has legitimized these forces, including Itamar Ben Gvir and his extremist Jewish Power party, by bringing them into the government. It is shocking and saddening that racist mobs that attack Palestinians on the streets of Jerusalem now have representation in its Knesset.

These dangerous trends are not unique to Israel. Around the world, in Europe, in Asia, in South America and here in the United States, we have seen the rise of similar authoritarian nationalist movements. These movements exploit ethnic and racial hatreds in order to build power for a corrupt few rather than prosperity, justice and peace for the many. For the last four years, these movements had a friend in the White House.

At the same time, we are seeing the rise of a new generation of activists who want to build societies based on human needs and political equality. We saw these activists in American streets last summer in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. We see them in Israel. We see them in the Palestinian territories.

With a new president, the United States now has the opportunity to develop a new approach to the world — one based on justice and democracy. Whether it is helping poor countries get the vaccines they need, leading the world to combat climate change or fighting for democracy and human rights around the globe, the United States must lead by promoting cooperation over conflict.

In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses.

This approach must recognize that Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians. I strongly believe that the United States has a major role to play in helping Israelis and Palestinians to build that future.

But if the United States is going to be a credible voice on human rights on the global stage, we must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it’s politically difficult. We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.


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  1. Bernie Sanders is close to being an ‘Idealist’, in Yiddish, such a person is called a, “MENSCH”, someone who cares/loves his Fellow Travelers, on this beautiful accommodating Planet of OURS, no ‘CHOSEN PEOPLE SYNDROM’ Sufferers are welcome!! We need more of them! AMEN! TIKKUN OLAM! Peace-Salam-Shalom!

  2. I have heard and read that in America — at least North of the Rio Grande an Tijuana — folks get thrown out of their dwellings if thay have not paid rent to the house owners or lot owners after some weeks. This is also so in the Germanic-speaking parts of Europe (Germanic=English, Dutch, Yiddish, German and Scandinavian).
    Have those Slavic- and Yiddish-speaking Europeans who left for the warmer climes of the Eastern Med to study Hebrew language and Old Testament military ethics maybe settled there in other peoples hoses and land lots just to avoid paying rent to the real owners for thee generations? Isn’t that a little cheap and stingy?
    The only viable solution to that quandry and injustice the pockets of milk and money full of shekels is to let all those Jews who live there without legally buying land or hovses from Palestinian Arabs pay the people on the ‘Aza strip and elsewhere the rent that is their due. The ‘Aza Strip would become the new Quattar or Bahrain but much more beautiful from the proceeds — and with a nicer climate and better beaches too!
    Of course, 50% of all freshwater pipes in Israël shoul be redirected to ‘Aza, and all the oil and gas found now or in the future in the sea outside the coast of Palestine and Israël too — I’m sure not even lord Balfour wold let the Ashenazim have their own petrochemical resourses!)

  3. Whatever you might think about Bernie, always remember, every single ReTrumplican in Congress supports what the “chosenites” are doing in Palestine. They will vote down every attempt to sanction Israel or hold it to account for its crimes. What Biden will or won’t do is open to question. That Trump killed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, murdered General Soleimani, and moved the the US embassy to Jerusalem… That is a simple fact that can’t be disputed.

  4. Non of you guys remember this or if you do it’s foggy memory. I saw it live on CSPAN in 2003 and I pissed my pants. I remember all the Republican ass kissers apologizing to Greenspan for Bernie’s “behavior.”

    “The coast wasn’t clear” at all in 2003 for Bernie to jump in. It was when Fed Res should have increased the interest rates to slow down the borrowing because since 1998 the five year rally was already over and dot com was already dot gone, but big banks wanted to inject all the money they could into the unqualified pockets of the average citizen and we all saw what happened in 2008 which started really in 2003.

    He was going against every single person in congress every single Wall Street banker, every single Republican.
    Watch the grin on Warren Gunnels’s face sitting behind him when he gives it to “Mr Money.”


    • Lol, Ron Paul. The only reason he wants out of the Middle East or any intervention including urgent domestic programs is because they cost money. Otherwise he has no feelings for humanity. If the taking over of Palestine was free he wouldn’t say a word to the status quo.

    • Newt,
      Thanks for the memory.
      During the last Dem Primary we also need to recall “The withdrawal of candidates day” that put Biden ahead of Bernie in the public narrative.
      Joe, “you don’t have to be a J_w to be a Zionist “, Biden.

  5. “It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

    ARE THERE ANY BIGGER LIARS AND THIEVES than Israel supporters????….I don’t think so.

  6. Bernie, stating the facts to Americans takes a great deal of courage. Yes, you will soon become a political target, and punching bag, or worst.

  7. I, unfortunately, have to agree with you. Sanders lost my confidence when he bowed to the Clinton clique. I watched all those gathered at my house become more than just upset, in fact, they were livid over his dumping on his supporters and not fighting for them. If he cannot stand up for those that supported and helped finance his run within his own party, why should they expect that he would follow through as president? Because Clinton had far more power than the Israeli cabal? Not hardly. WHEN there is a candidate that stands up and plainly says that they are American first and not Israel first, then I’ll try and believe. So far, I see nothing like that in view…although today Tlaib comes the closest. Her chances in running for president in this evangelistic US is what? For me, it was Cynthia McKinney.

  8. “Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable”…sorry, but I completely disagree. There will be nothing that can bring the state of Israel down faster. Show the Israeli’s that they are indeed vulnerable, not invincible. When has a nation with a clear advantage and all the allies it needs at it’s disposal ever sued for peace? Or at the minimum, been open to peace and mutual relationships with those they attack? On the other hand, when have nations at the doorstep of defeat, decided that peace and equitable justice are desirable? If people believe that US pressure will have any effect on these rabid so-called humans, well, good luck there. Why does nations like Iran not want to wait for western inspired peace? Because they might like to see it within their grandchildren’s lifetime, much less their’s or their children’s. As well, when speaking of the economic, political oppression and theft of lands…the situation of continued extreme violence against them is sparsely mentioned, if at all. At times it seems a miracle they even connect their rebellion to those mentioned aspects of oppression…much less the continued violence they are subjected to.

    • The problem is all the Zionists of every stripe think they have divine protection working a divine plan; whether their goal is to make all gentiles their slaves, or to help make their fellow gentiles into Zionists’ slaves. (though we are already slaves to a degree)
      I haven’t read anywhere in the Bible about there being any slaves in the Kingdom of Heaven.

  9. The reason Vermonters keep sending Bernie to Congress is that they know he’s NOT a Zionist stooge like every single ReTrumplican in Congress is. Christian Zionists are the reason Trump killed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. They are the reason why Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. They are the reason why he and Pompeo did everything they could to attack Iran and bring on WWIII. You must be asleep yourself if you can’t see that. Wake up and smell the stench of so-called Christian Zionism, Ferdinand.

  10. After Israel is tried and found responsible for the USS Liberty attack that escalated the Vietnam War, it’s planning of the 911 attacks and other false flag events than pays it’s “dues”, shows the world it’s remorse and seeks forgiveness, than it has a right to defend itself. Until that time all nations must boycott Israel. It is past time for the world to offend Israel as it has disrespected human rights, dignity and diversity.

  11. When Bernie Sanders speaks the truth to Democrats, it’s big news. Problem is, ReTrumplicans aren’t listening in the least. Trump’s “spiritual” advisor, Pastor John Hagee, actually had the audacity to claim that an IDF spokesman had assured him during a briefing that all deaths in Gaza were the result of Hamas rocket misfires – “It’s the terrorists that are killing their own people!”

    The reason why Congress will never cease to support Israel is mostly because of Christian Zionism, not because of the Ashkenazim like Bernie.

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