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Sanders Issues Blistering Statement Aimed at Netanyahu Regarding Campus Protests

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders (Credits: CNN)

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is pushing back against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusation that US college students protesting against the war in Gaza are antisemitic.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu’s office released a video of the US-born Israeli leader criticizing the student-led protests on various university campuses. In the video, Netanyahu described the protesters as “antisemitic mobs” and accused them of physically assaulting Jewish students and faculty.

Additionally, Netanyahu stated, “This is reminiscent of what happened in German universities in the 1930s. It’s unconscionable. It has to be stopped.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Credits: CNN)

Senator Sanders, one of America’s most prominent Jewish lawmakers, responded with a statement on Thursday directly rejecting Netanyahu’s claims and addressing him by name.

Sanders asserted, “No, Mr. Netanyahu. It is not antisemitic or pro-Hamas to highlight that in a little over six months, your extremist government has caused the deaths of 34,000 Palestinians and injured over 77,000, with seventy percent being women and children.”

He continued, refuting Netanyahu’s accusations, saying it was not antisemitic to criticize the Israeli government’s actions, such as the destruction of housing units and healthcare infrastructure in Gaza, or to express concern about the humanitarian situation in the region.

Sanders concluded by urging Netanyahu not to use allegations of antisemitism to divert attention from his government’s actions and legal issues. He emphasized that holding leaders accountable for their actions is not antisemitic and called on Netanyahu to address the concerns raised by the protests.

Senator Bernie Sanders (Credits: ABC News)

The protests have occurred at several prominent US universities, including Yale, Columbia University, New York University, the University of Southern California, and the University of Texas, Austin.

Riot police were dispatched to multiple campuses on Wednesday, and numerous students have been arrested in recent weeks. US House Speaker Mike Johnson echoed Netanyahu’s criticisms during a visit to Columbia on Wednesday, where he was met with boos from demonstrators.

Republicans have seized on the campus protests to accuse Democrats of supporting antisemitism while also highlighting differences between President Joe Biden’s stance on Israel and that of former President Donald Trump.

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