Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Thursday night took aim at Israel once again in a CNN debate with Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn, ahead of the fateful New York primaries.
Sanders has recently been showing an increasingly open anti-Israel stance even while claiming to be pro-Israeli.
Just last week, in an interview, he made the outrageous claim that Israel killed 10,000 "innocent people" in Gaza during 2014 Operation Protective Edge. The actual total was just over 2,000, and roughly half of the dead were terrorists in a near unheard of combatant to civilian ratio. Facing backlash, Sanders inexplicably denied he made the claim.
In the CNN debate on Thursday night, Sanders again attacked Israel for Operation Protective Edge, saying, "we're going to have to say that Netanyahu isn't right all of the time."
"Of course Israel has the right to defend itself. That's not up for debate," he said, but then continued: "We had some 10,000 civilians who were wounded, 1,500 who were killed. Was that a disproportionate attack? I believe it was."
Calling for an "even-handed approach" by the US, he said, "as someone who's 100% pro-Israel, in the long run, if we're ever to bring peace…we have to treat Palestinian people with respect and dignity."
He also condemned the squalor in Gaza, saying, "right now, in Gaza, unemployment is somewhere around 40%. It hasn’t been rebuilt…houses decimated, health care decimated, schools decimated."
Sanders failed to mention Hamas' role in causing the destruction by launching three consecutive terror wars against Israel, and how the group has been cynically exploiting its civilians while siphoning off international humanitarian donations to rebuild its terror infrastructure.
In response to Sanders, Clinton noted how as Secretary of State she negotiated a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in 2012. She added that Israel didn't invite the rocket attacks on its towns, and noted that after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 Hamas turned it into a "terrorist haven."
At the same time she called for the implementation of a two-state solution, by which Israel would withdraw from Judea and Samaria. Critics warn that doing so would pave the way for a repeat of the 2005 Disengagement plan from Gaza.