2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that he wanted to use billions in aid money to Israel as “leverage” to fight the Israeli government’s “racism.”
The remarks came as Sanders — one of the frontrunners in the Democratic presidential primary — talked about America’s view of the Middle East during a town hall event in New Hampshire, where he said that he believes that the billions of dollars in aid funding to Israel could be used as “leverage” to “end some of the racism” that has been “seen in Israel.”
“The United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel, and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel,” the self-described democratic socialist said.
The Vermont senator compared the U.S.’s alliance with the Jewish state to that of the relations between America and Saudi Arabia, which he labeled a “corrupt, murderous regime.”
Sanders also said that the Saudi Arabians were “good pals of ours” when it came to Iran.
“You can criticize both,” added Sanders.
When asked about the lack of a peace accord between Israel and Palestine, Sanders did not point to either side, saying that the “goal” the U.S. wants to accomplish “has got to be” bringing the two sides “together.”
“The fault is not all with Israel, you have very poor and corrupt Palestinian leadership, but what the goal of the United States has got to be is to bring people in the region together, the Palestinians and the Israelis to create a kind of workable peace which works for both parties, not just one.”
Sanders also said during the event that criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government is not anti-Semitic.
This is not the first time that Sanders has called Netanyahu’s government “racist.”
As IJR News previously reported, during a CNN televised event with other Democratic presidential candidates in April, Sanders proclaimed that he was 100% pro-Israel but also said that he wanted to change the nation’s policy regarding the Jewish state.
He went on to call for “bring[ing] people together” before calling the Israeli government “racist.”
“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,” said the Vermont independent.