Bernie Sanders at a rally in New Orleans, Louisiana, July 26, 2015. (Credit: Nick Solari)

US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders Calls Israeli PM Netanyahu’s Government ‘Racist’

United States Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called the not-yet-formed government of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “rightist and racist.” Sanders made the comment at a CNN Town Hall event in response to the question of how he would uphold the strong US-Israel alliance given the anticipated make-up of Netanyahu’s next coalition, which is liable to contain far-right elements. While Sanders claimed he is “not anti-Israel,” harkening back to the months he spent therein during his youth, he qualified that Washington’s goal should be “to bring people together and not just support one country which is now run by a right-wing – dare I say – racist government.” The 2020 presidential hopeful nevertheless stressed that the Jewish state has “every right to exist…in peace and security,” and that the US should work to reassume its historical role as “honest broker” and mediator of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The 77-year-old Jewish politician is currently polling second in the Democratic primary race behind former vice president Joe Biden, who is expected to formally announce his candidacy this week.

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