Bernie Sanders was interviewed by the editorial board of the New York Daily News and raised eyebrows with his comments on Israel.
Sanders, who is Jewish, was commenting on the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in 2014. He stated, “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.” Bernie went on claim that Israel killed 10,000 Palestinian civilians during this period. “I don’t have it in my number … but I think it’s over 10,000,” Sanders continued. “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.”
The reality is that there were just over 1,500 Palestinian civilians killed. But they were not deliberately targeted for death by the IDF. Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said that Bernie’s statements constituted a “blood libel.” Oren stated:
He doesn’t mention the many thousands of Hamas rockets fired at us. He doesn’t mention the fact that Hamas hides behind civilians. He doesn’t mention the fact that we pulled out of Gaza in order to give the Palestinians a chance to experiment with statehood, and they turned it into an experiment with terror. He doesn’t mention any of that. That, to me, is libelous.
If the election were between Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, this episode is but one of many reasons why I would vote for Cruz. Given the choice between a devout Christian who defends Israel without reservation and a Jew who is prepared to condemn Israel and put it in the same league with Hamas it isn’t a tough call.