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Bernie Sanders' support for Ilhan Omar gels with Israel's record of criticism



S en. Bernie Sanders has a long history of being hard about Israel, even to the extent that it is not matched with other left-wing Democrats in the main area of ​​the presidency in 2020. In recent days, Sanders has offered support to Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota after being accused of making anti-Israel, and what some have said are anti-Semitic comments. She accused the pro-Israeli AIPAC of buying legislators and some members of Congress that they have double loyalty to Israel and the United States.

"We should not … equate anti-Semitism with the legitimate criticism of Netanyahu's right-wing government in Israel. Rather, we must develop a Middle East policy that unites Israelis and Palestinians for lasting peace, "he said in a statement issued by .

Belen Sissa, a presidential campaign press officer, apologized last week to question whether the "US government and the American-Jewish community have double allegiance to the state of Israel" in a commentary on a Facebook post, saying she stands with Omar,

Among the candidates for democratic presidential elections, Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California also defend Omar. "Branding the critique of Israel as an auto-anti-Semitism has a detrimental effect on our public discourse," Warren said in a statement. "I'm afraid it will happen in the room to go to Congressman Omar as a way to stifle this debate," Harris said in a statement.

But other contenders from 2020 were less lenient to Omar. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York said in a statement that Omar could criticize Israel but "without using anti-Semitic tropics for money or influence." New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said he discovers Omar's statements as "disturbing," but stressed that all forms of fanaticism should be condemned, including anti-Islamic criticisms of Omar. Senator Amy Klobucher of Minnesota said Omar apologized for being "the right thing to do."

Sanders, a Jewish, self-defining socialist, said in the first debate of Democrats in 201

6 that he was "100 percent pro-Israeli." But his comments on Omar and many earlier statements and actions show another. Sanders and some other Democrat Senators wrote three letters in 2017 and 2018 criticizing Israel's policy of persecution of a Palestinian activist, the demise of a Palestinian village, and the US involvement in the "continuing humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip"

In May last year, Sanders condemned the killing of more than a dozen Palestinians by Israeli forces during a conflict in Gaza.

But Buckler, Harris, Gillibrand and Klobucar did not join the letters Warren joined two of them. In June, he published a video of the Palestinians in Gaza, describing their difficult life on the territory.

Sanders argues that "the founding of Israel includes the exodus of hundreds of thousands of people already living there, the Palestinian people." 19659002] Despite a vote in favor of a June 2017 resolution calling for the US Embassy to move to Israel in Jerusalem, Sanders criticized Trump's recognition plan in December 2017. Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, claiming that "it would drastically undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement."

He told Interspect in 2017 that he would consider the vote to cut US aid to Israel. "Funding from the United States plays a very important role, and I would like to see people in the Middle East sit down with the United States government and understand how US aid can bring people together and not only lead to a war in this area," he

Republican strategist Alex Conan of the consulting firm Firehouse Strategies told Washington Examiner that Sanders' views on Israel, his assistant's comments and his reaction to Omar's controversy could cause him trouble in 2020 race. "The Democrats they want to defeat Donald Trump and they will get tired of a candidate who has such vivid vulnerabilities, "Conan said.

Christopher Budzis, director of Lorraine College and Iowa College Associate Professor, told that the Israeli positions of Sanders are more important in the general election and will probably not affect Iowa. "

If the controversy surrounding Omar continues," the difficulty for Sanders is if Israel gets less and more anti-Semitism, "Budzis said . The study indicates that Sanders has some leeway to criticize the Israeli government without losing substantial support from Jewish voters.

Jim Gerstein, a democratic interviewer and founder of GBA Strategies, told that the Jewish Americans voted in a predominantly democratic position and generally did not base the initial decisions on Israel's positions.

The candidate has to go through a "threshold" of enough support to Israel to gain support from Jewish voters, but issues such as health and the economy are more important for their voting decisions. voters for a liberal advocacy group J Street. "This is an easy threshold for a candidate to go through to be seen as providing enough support for Israel," Gersthein said, stating that any democratic presidential candidate had fulfilled this requirement. A study by Mellman Group in October 2018 found that although 92% of Jewish voters believed to be pro-Israeli, 59% said they were critical of some or many of Israeli government policies. Speaking at a conference on JJ Street in 2017, he said it was important for the progressive "to recognize the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution."

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