US Senator Bernie Sanders has claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed the “Jewish nation state” bill because he knew he had the support of US President Donald Trump.
Sanders made the remarks in a lengthy piece published by the Guardian under the title “A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front”.
The article portrays both Trump and Netanyahu as part of an “authoritarian axis” that also includes leaders such as Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
According to Sanders, “it’s…hard to imagine that Israel’s Netanyahu government would have moved to pass the recent “nation state law”, which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, if Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t know Trump would have his back”.
An important context for such developments, wrote Sanders, is “the Trump administration’s support for right-wing extremist parties across Europe”.
“We must understand that these authoritarians are part of a common front,” the senator said. “They are in close contact with each other, share tactics and, as in the case of European and American right-wing movements, even share some of the same funders.”
“The Mercer family, for example, supporters of the infamous Cambridge Analytica, have been key backers of Trump and of Breitbart News, which operates in Europe, the United States and Israel to advance the same anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim agenda,” he continued.
Sanders also singled out “Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson”, who “gives generously to right-wing causes in both the United States and Israel, promoting a shared agenda of intolerance and illiberalism in both countries.”