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Sanders: Opposing Israel’s Assault on Gaza Is Not Antisemitic

Senator Bernie Sanders (Credits: The Times of Israel)

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has strongly criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent comments, which sought to smear thousands of U.S. students protesting against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Sanders, who is Jewish himself, emphasized that opposing Israel’s bombing and starvation campaign against Palestinians is not antisemitic, highlighting his own family’s history of persecution during the Holocaust.

Bernie Sanders (Credits: Axios)

In an interview on CNN, Sanders condemned antisemitism while also asserting that criticizing Israel’s actions, particularly its U.S.-backed military operations resulting in Palestinian casualties, is not inherently antisemitic.

He underscored the severity of the situation, pointing out the particular number of Palestinian casualties and the disproportionate impact on women and children.

Responding to a clip presented by CNN’s Dana Bash, in which a student protester likened Zionists to other hate groups like white supremacists and Nazis, Sanders reiterated that condemning Israel’s actions is not antisemitic.

He criticized Netanyahu’s attempt to label any criticism of Israel as antisemitic, noting that a majority of Americans are troubled by Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Bash continued to challenge Sanders by highlighting comments from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minnesota), framing them in a way that suggested antisemitism. Sanders defended Omar’s statement, emphasizing the need to combat antisemitism while also pointing out that Netanyahu’s policies could be considered ethnic cleansing.

Bernie Sanders (Credits: WTAJ)

Sanders later posted a video addressed to Netanyahu, affirming that holding him accountable for his actions is not antisemitic. In another interview with NPR, Sanders reiterated that opposing Israel’s actions does not equate to antisemitism and emphasized the rising tide of bigotry in society.

Netanyahu’s recent attacks on American student protesters, labeling them as “antisemitic mobs,” have drawn widespread condemnation from pro-Palestinian advocates. Critics argue that Netanyahu is attempting to divert attention from Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank and that not all criticism of Israel constitutes antisemitism.

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