Earlier this month, US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told the New York Daily News that during the Gaza war of 2014 Israel had killed “over 10,000” Palestinians, most of them civilians and most indiscriminately.
It was a remark right out of the Hamas propaganda playbook. No, it was worse. Even Hamas only claimed 1,400 deaths in the 50-day conflict.
Over the past week, Sanders, despite being the only Jewish candidate in the race, has upped his rhetoric against the Jewish state.
In a debate hosted by CNN last Thursday, Sanders told his opponent, Hillary Clinton, that “if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”
It was an odd remark, considering recent revelations that Clinton herself doesn’t think too highly of Netanyahu.
On Sunday, Sanders indicated to ABC News that he felt President Barack Obama, arguably the US president who has been most antagonistic toward Israel, hadn’t gone far enough in his support of the Palestinian cause.
The icing on the cake came this week as the candidates pushed for support ahead of Tuesday’s primaries in New York.
A significant percentage of New York City’s voters are Hasidic (Orthodox) Jews, and so many of the candidates, including Sanders and Republican Ted Cruz, launched Yiddish language campaigns there.
Yiddish flyers passed out by one group associated with Sanders urged local Jews to vote for the senator from Vermont because he “does not agree with the radical policies of Netanyahu, may the name of the wicked rot.”