When the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls came together for a conference organized by J Street in Washington on Monday, no one thought that the oldest Presidential candidate will take a stern stance to resolve the ongoing crisis in Gaza between Israel and Palestine.
Moreover, Sanders used his identity as a Jew to strike a chord amongst a large number of Jewish activists.
While former Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren addressed the conference via video, South Bend Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg; Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett physically attended the conference.
During the conference, it did not seem for a single moment that Sanders has recently undergone a heart surgery, as he delivered his speech with great enthusiasm.
Additionally, during the conference, held by the liberal J Street, Sanders not only used his identity to expand the overreach of his political campaign but also tried to gain good side of the Jews by calling the current Israeli government “racist”.
While 2020 Democratic hopefuls during the conference showed that they are willing to recall the military aid to Israel, Sanders maintained his stern stance during the conference as he suggested that some of the portion of the aid should be provided to Gaza.
The Vermont Sen., who gained grounds for his policies such as Medicare for All and wealth tax, even attacked the Israeli Prime Minister and questioned his integrity as a leader.
He said, “You’re looking at leaders, one is going to be impeached, the other one may end up in jail, so I don’t know how much credibility they have, actually in terms of integrity.”
The liberal advocacy group, J Street, has primarily and from the starting called to end the Israeli conflicts with the neighboring countries.
However, Sanders’ staunch stance might negatively impact the relations of the US with another Middle Eastern country and probably even worsen the US-Israel relations more than the time of Obama administration.
While the current US administration and the GOP members have failed to make a balanced mark and stability in Gaza and the Middle East region, the administration has successfully managed to improve its relations with Israel.
Even though Vermont Sen. went on to claim at the J Street conference that he will avoid favoring the Palestinians over Israel, it doesn’t seem like an easy task for him, for he would have to justify the support of Rep. Ilhan Omar and other congresswomen of “the squad”, which might worsen US’ bilateral relations with many Gulf countries.