The Hill - May 14, 2021

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is ramping up pressure on the Biden administration to mediate growing violence in Israel, accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of cultivating “an increasingly intolerant and authoritarian type of racist nationalism.”

In a guest essay for The New York Times, Sanders, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, notes the United States provides nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel.

“We can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior,” he wrote. “We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians.”

He argued the Biden administration “must uphold international standards of human rights consistently, even when it’s politically difficult” if the United States is to remain a credible voice on human rights globally.

“We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter,” he said, invoking a variation of the slogan used during last year’s civil rights backlash against incidents of police brutality against African Americans.

Sanders warned that Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption as he tries to build support for a new coalition government, has often exploited racist and nationalist sentiments to stay in power. ...
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