Sen. Bernie Sanders called Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in Israel “right wing, dare I say racist” during his CNN town hall Monday night.
The Vermont Independent senator and 2020 presidential candidate was asked on CNN by a Harvard junior how he plans to “maintain the strong US-Israel relationship” despite his critiques of Netanyahu.
Sanders argued he is not anti-Israel, noting he has family in the country and spent a number of months in his youth there (“I worked on a kibbutz for a while”).
“I am not anti-Israel but the fact of the matter is that Netanyahu is a right-wing politician who I think is treating the Palestinian people extremely unfairly,” Sanders said. “The United States gives billions of dollars in military aid to Israel. What I believe is not radical. I just believe that the United States should deal with the Middle East on a level playing field basis.
“In other words, the goal must be to try to bring people together and not just support one country, which is now run by a right wing, dare I say, racist government,” Sanders added, to applause from the audience.
“So I am 100% pro-Israel. Israel has every right in the world to exist, and to exist in peace and security, and not be subjected to terrorist attacks. But the United States needs to deal not just with Israel but with the Palestinian people as well.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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