Palestinian Americans debate supporting Bernie Sanders

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by Nada Elia in Mondoweiss on January 27, 2020


When Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said that she would work on increasing American support for Israel, most progressives expressed a seemingly collective ‘No. Just no.’ And yet these same politically engaged progressives, including many Palestinians, are stating they will be voting for a Zionist candidate, who has repeatedly affirmed that he ‘admires’ Israel, and believes in its ‘right to exist.’

I am, of course, speaking of Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate whose statements of love and support for Israel are sincere, rather than formulaic platitudes regurgitating AIPAC talking points, and meant to placate donors.  In my analysis of his Op-Ed on ‘how to fight antisemitism,’ I pointed out how he falls short of acknowledging that Zionism–meaning the ideological and political support for a modern Jewish state that could only have happened through the initial and ongoing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people–is by definition a racist project.  Israel was founded on the ruins of Palestinian homes, yet even as he acknowledges the magnitude of the Nakba, Sanders holds on to the two-state delusion. ‘My pride and admiration for Israel lives alongside my support for Palestinian freedom and independence,’ Bernie wrote in his editorial, adding, ‘I reject the notion that there is any contradiction there.’  He doesn’t, however, attempt to explain how inalienable human rights, such as the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees, are reconcilable with Israel as a Jewish state.



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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.

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