Most members of the U.S. Senate have had little to say about the Israel Defense Forces’ violent response in response to protests in Gaza that left more than 50 Palestinians dead. But there has been one notable exception.
Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has stood out for his forceful condemnation of the Israeli government’s actions and the U.S. response.
The progressive firebrand’s public remarks are the latest in a series of condemnations against Palestinian deaths at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, as Palestinian protesters have been participating in a series of protests at the Israel-Gaza border since March.
So far only a handful of Democratic representatives in the House have joined Sanders in strongly condemning the violence. In the Senate, the response has been characterized by either silence or unlikely praise for the Trump administration.
In both February 2017 and April 2018 Sanders gave speeches to the liberal Jewish anti-occupation group J Street, where he condemned Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.
In April, during the first wave of Gaza protests, Sanders was the only member of the U.S. Senate willing to call out the Israel Defense Forces for their role in the violence.
Around that time, Sanders’ office released a Facebook video that featured several prominent activists detailing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
In light of yesterday’s horrific violence in Gaza, in which more than 50 Palestinians were killed and more than 2000 wounded by Israeli snipers, it’s important to understand the desperate situation out of which these protests have arisen. pic.twitter.com/WLrlGxJKDo
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) May 15, 2018
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