Creating new perspectives since 2009

US needs to end Israel’s 50-year-long occupation, says Sanders

February 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm

US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders [Gage Skidmore/Flickr]

Former US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Monday that the US needs to end Israel’s 50-year-long occupation. He made his comments at a conference organised by J Street, an advocacy group aiming to advance Israeli-US interests and a two-state solution.

“The occupation runs against both US and Israeli values,” said Sanders, “and settlement building on Palestinian land undermines a peaceful resolution to the conflict.”

The Senator for Vermont acknowledged the decision by the administration of ex-President Barack Obama not to veto UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemns Israeli settlement policy.

Read: The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, no one can save Israel from itself

Commenting on the recent Trump-Netanyahu press conference held in the White House, Sanders rebuked the US president for trivialising the two-state solution to the conflict: “I think he was thinking that he was asked whether he likes Coca Cola or Pepsi Cola. That’s not the answer the American president should have given.”

He explained to the audience that it is possible to oppose the policies of President Trump without being anti-American. “We can oppose the policies of Netanyahu without being anti-Israel. We can oppose the policies of Islamic extremists without being anti-Muslim. Peace means security not only for every Israeli but also for every Palestinian.”

Sanders was known for his pro-Palestinian standpoints during the US presidential election campaign last year. He censured Israel’s “disproportionate” attacks during the 51 days of its 2014 military offensive against the people of Gaza. In doing so, he described the US as being “one-sided”.