Democrat candidate for President attempting to catch and pass Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, has less foreign policy knowledge and absolutely no grasp of the Arab Israeli conflict beyond that of President Obama and Possibly even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. His knowledge on these issues and others were illuminated by the Washington Post using an interview from the transcript from the New York Daily News interview by their editorial board. We took both and other commentaries and attempted to choose those items which we found the most revealing concerning those items we here hold in value. We will attempt to use his own words wherever convenient and not overly challenging.
One somewhat rare plus was Senator Sanders answer to the question of whether Israel should be left as a Jewish State to which he replied “Of course (pauses) that’s the status quo.” From here things get murky at best and otherwise troubling. After some urging Senator Sanders finally fleshed out some visions he holds including this quote, “Here’s the main point that I want to make. I lived in Israel. I have family in Israel. I believe 100% not only in Israel’s right to exist, a right to exist in peace and security without having to face terrorist attacks. But from the United States’ point of view, I think, long-term, we cannot ignore the reality that you have large numbers of Palestinians who are suffering now, poverty rate off the charts, unemployment off the charts, Gaza remaining a destroyed area. And I think that for long-term peace in that region, and God knows nobody has been successful in that for 60 years, but there are good people on both sides, and Israel is not, cannot, just simply expand when it wants to expand with new settlements. So I think the United States has got to help work with the Palestinian people as well. I think that is the path toward peace.”
Well, that does leave some wiggle room for policies that range from full support for Israel to Israel needs to save the Arab Palestinians from their own leadership. Israel must make sure that the Arab Palestinians have sufficient employment, reasonably priced homes and apartments, sufficient resources and plenty of opportunities and fiscal success. That would be the same as demanding that the British assure the economies, health, and general prosperity of the Australians, Indians, Pakistani, Americans, Israelis, Jordanians and all their other colonies succeeded when they were granted freedom and self-government and France do the same for her colonies and the Spanish and Portuguese all supported and maintained a functioning economy and government and the people had health care and everything at a similar level as is available in the colonizing nation. This expectation is ridiculous beyond measure as Israel was herself a colony which suffered an assault intent on genocide immediately starting on the morning of Israeli independence where Israel lost the areas which would come to be known as the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This thinking falls into the trap that the Jews of Israel having worked and established successful businesses and making revolutionary discoveries, new software and hardware, innovative medical procedures, and developed a system which provides opportunity to develop intuitive new concepts allowing for intellectual freedoms leading to successful ventures but the world, including Bernie Sanders, see Israeli success as stealing opportunity from their Arab neighbors who are impoverished because if Israeli success. Such reasoning is insane as well as faulty.
When Bernie Sanders was challenged on the 2014 Gaza War he danced with great skill around committing to supporting one side or the other. Eventually a longer answer which had some red meat to it was presented. When asked pointedly, “And I’m going to look at 2014, which was the latest conflict. What should Israel have done instead?” where Bernie struck forth replying that, “You’re asking me now to make not only decisions for the Israeli government but for the Israeli military, and I don’t quite think I’m qualified to make decisions. But I think it is fair to say that the level of attacks against civilian areas…and I do know that the Palestinians, some of them, were using civilian areas to launch missiles. Makes it very difficult. But I think most international observers would say that the attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed. Look, we are living, for better or worse, in a world of high technology, whether it’s drones out there that could, you know, take your nose off, and Israel has that technology. And I think there is a general belief that, with that technology, they could have been more discriminate in terms of taking out weapons that were threatening them.” And when the New York Daily News pressed further on the Gaza conflict of 2014 and the Arab Palestinian casualties Bernie provided a slightly deeper view stating, “I don’t have it in my number…but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”
These are the most egregious quotes from the transcript that we found with simply a cursory review doing a few simple searches for keywords such as Gaza, Israel, Human Rights and Crimes. The real root problem of Senator Sanders making such statements derives not from any validity that they might have, nor from the fact that these claims are coming from a candidate for President of the United States as they have because they come from the Jewish candidate for President of the United States. That fact makes these statements all the more credible and gives them the veneer of truth and places their validity beyond repute making them valid and truthful accusations because of their source more than anything else. When Bernie Sanders uses such statements that place the number of civilians killed, and he may as well say murdered, by the IDF at 10,000; even though he qualified it with the fact that he did not have the exact number and was working from memory, it validates that number as a point any detractor of Israel can now use with impunity. Add the rest of the quote which reads, “My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been and now you have the makings of admitted war crimes by the IDF.” And add in the earlier quote where Senator Sanders stated, “You’re asking me now to make not only decisions for the Israeli government but for the Israeli military, and I don’t quite think I’m qualified to make decisions. But I think it is fair to say that the level of attacks against civilian areas…and I do know that the Palestinians, some of them, were using civilian areas to launch missiles. Makes it very difficult. But I think most international observers would say that the attacks against Gaza were indiscriminate and that a lot of innocent people were killed who should not have been killed,” and that simply adds more fuel to the fire. It will not matter that Senator Sanders is not an expert or that he is not an ardent supporter of Israel or that he has voted against Israel funding and defense packages as his desired use for such funding is in social spending and domestic spending and he would all but cancel all defense spending in favor of his pet social issues spending is all meaningless. The only thing which those who oppose Israel Defense Force actions and Israel generally will see is the Jewish candidate has made these accusations thus they will take on a life of their own and these quotes will be used everywhere as they can be quoted in context with no fear that Israel’s defenders can cut them down when they can be attributed to Senator Bernie Sanders.
This is part and parcel of the problem with much of what Senator Sanders says on the campaign trail where he plays fast and loose with facts and factoids which it often appears he just makes up figures and his own facts using anything which will sound right and further his campaign. Should these facts and figures result in throwing Israel under the bus, then it must really suck to be Israel as all is fair in the arena of the hunt for that November candidacy spot on the ballots. These quotes we found here all came from a transcript which has been published and is now a part of the public record and there is nothing that can be said which will erase or excuse the fact that they have been added to the arsenal of quotes which will now be used repeatedly with the full veneer of truth. There are those who claim rightfully that Israel does not spend sufficient time, money or effort to counter the many mistruths, half-truths and outright lies which are spread far and wide against the Jewish State. Where such is a valid point, statements such as these by the Jewish Presidential candidate and you have something which cuts much deeper, the seeming proof due to their source. Senator Sanders making such statements would grant such statements validity but Jewish Presidential candidate Bernie and these accusations take on a life of their own and can now be used with impunity claiming them to be the gospel truth. Where we would not think to demand that Senator and Presidential candidate Sanders state, though we wish we could invalidate some of his statements, full and uncompromised support for Israel, antagonism is not a supportive policy position. Even if we were to have the reach his statements have, we would not have the instant credibility he gives to them simply by his being Jewish. Such things and truths about facts are not fair but then that is life and life never was promised to be fair. When Senator Sanders talks, there are legions of Israel’s detractors who are documenting his every expressed factoid as the gospel truth as only a Jew could express them. It matters not if Bernie expresses truth or simply grabs numbers from the thin air, either way his statements will be quoted time and again and marked up as truth and no amount of proof will be capable of erasing their stains on the reputation of Israel or her soldiers. That is the crime here, and it is a crime, will be the irrefutable truth set in stone by the Sanders campaign and the listings of the presumed crimes committed by Israel, the IDF and in their name as attributed by the Sanders campaign. The entire election taken into consideration, there is but one currently viable candidate who fully supports Israel, and it just had to be Ted Cruz, didn’t it.
Beyond the Cusp