Sanders’ Israel-PA Peace Ideas Get Ignored

sanders-on-israeli-palestinian-conflict-e1460816333365— by Robert Tabak

Senator Bernie Sanders has focused almost exclusively on US economic policy and domestic issues in his presidential campaign. Numerous articles, including from writers friendly to the Vermont senator, have critiqued his lack of attention to foreign policy. For example, Yair Rosenberg, writing in the Jewish on-line journal Tablet Magazine on March 20, 2016, quoted Vox’s Max Fisher who wrote “Sanders appears to have no foreign policy at all.” Rosenberg continued, “A candidate who has deliberately not delivered a single speech devoted to foreign policy during his entire campaign was not about to start with Israel/Palestine.”  But Rosenberg was wrong.  Two days later Sen. Sanders’ talk was the one he hoped to give via video to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the large pro-Israel lobbying group meeting in Washington DC.  He was refused permission (unlike Mitt Romney four years ago). Much of the media attention, general and Jewish, focused on Donald Trump, attempts to boycott his talk (with limited success), Trump’s rousing reception, and the embarrassed walk-back from AIPAC leaders striving to maintain a bi-partisan veneer.  Hillary Clinton’s talk got some press, and the other Republican candidates received less coverage.   But most of these talks covered familiar ground, with each speaker claiming to support Israel.  In the Republicans’ case the candidates again opposed the Iran nuclear agreement, which AIPAC and the prime minister of Israel also opposed (despite polls showing most American Jews supported it).  All these AIPAC presentations had their expected applause lines. [Read more…]