Sen. Bernie Sanders, the socialist who caucuses with Democrats, shows no sign of winding down his presidential campaign even though former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears assured the Democratic nomination. For Sanders, his "revolution" is far from over. Democratic Party establishment types see this as mroe than an idle threat.
Because of his success in the Democratic primary races. Sanders has won 5 of the 15 seats at the party platform drafting committee. This body sets the agenda for the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 presidential election campaign.
An indication of where Sanders wants to go with his seats on the platform committee can be seen in two of five persons representing him. Two of the five representatives are staunch opponents of Israel. They are Cornel West and James Zogby. Yesterday, the two of them announced that they intend to shift the Democratic Party away from its historic support for the Jewish State to instead support the Palestinian cause.
West denounced what he calls Israel's “occupation” of the West Bank, for instance, while demanding that Democrats seek to end Israeli control over Judea and Samaria.
“Justice for Palestinians cannot be attained without the lifting of the occupation,” West said, drawing attention to what he called “the plight of an occupied people,” according to the New York Times. West, who teaches philosophy at the Union Theological Seminary, has a history of anti-Israel commentary and support of the worldwide BDS movement to boycott and isolate Israel, especially in the economic sphere.
West said the Israeli “occupation” of Judea and Samaria must come to an end. In an interview with Salon, the former Harvard don said “It’s ugly, it’s vicious, it’s brutal, and it needs to not just be brought to attention, it needs to be brought to an end.” He dismissed criticisms of his stance as “Zionist critiques," while comparing the Gaza Strip to Nazi concentration camp and drawing parallels to racism in the West. “[T]here is no doubt that Gaza is not just a ‘kind of’ concentration camp, it is the hood on steroids.”
For his part, Zogby, founder of the Arab American Institute, has a history of anti-Israel rhetoric and drawing false analogies to the persecution and extermination of Jews. For example, in 2010 Huffington Post article, Zogby compared Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria to the Nazi Holocaust.
Zogby has long been a supporter of the BDS movement and has organized boycotts of businesses with branches in Israel. Zogby has also suggested that Israeli influence was behind America’s involvement in the Iraq War, and has smeared some American Jews as “Israel firsters.”
On his campaign website, Sanders is said to have described the "entrenched conflict between Israel and the Palestinians as both depressing and difficult." While acknowledging that there is "no magic solution to the problem," the website states that "Bernie believes in a two-state solution, where 'Israel has a right to exist in security, and at the same time the Palestinians have a state of their own.'” Also, while admitting that he is "not a big supporter of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu," Sanders says that "diplomacy, not military action or economic sanctions, can keep Israel safe from Iran."
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