Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said “the occupation must end” in a video message to Israel’s left-wing opposition Meretz Party.
The five-minute video was set to be screened at a conference Sunday marking the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 and “50 years of Occupation.”
In opening the video, Sanders, a Jewish Independent who sought the Democratic presidential nomination, called Meretz, which currently has 5 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset, “Israel’s most prominent political organization.” He added that the party stands “for many of the same values that progressives are fighting for here in the United States and throughout the world.”
“We are now in the 50th year of Israel’s occupation, an occupation which denies basic Palestinian rights while failing to deliver Israel real security,” said Sanders.
“I know so many of you agree with me when I say: this occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli, but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.”
Sanders called for “a politics of solidarity and a common humanity” and added that “brave people uniting around a common set of values with clear goals, can change a country, they can change the world, they can even change the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to his home borough of Brooklyn Tuesday to deliver Brooklyn College’s commencement speech, entering the stage to rousing chants of “Bernie.”
Though he never mentioned President Trump by name, Sanders decried the current administration — which he called an “oligarchy” set on stripping 23 million people of their health care coverage, decimating Medicaid, de-funding Planned Parenthood and laying waste to supportive resources like food stamps, afterschool programs and Pell grants to help middle class families pay for college.
He called on the more than 4,100 undergraduate and graduate students getting their diplomas inside the Barclays Center alongside him to put all their efforts into turning the nation in the right direction.
“My message to you is very simple: think big, not small, and help us create the nation that we all know we can become,” he said.
The Independent senator, who was born and raised in Brooklyn and attended Midwood’s P.S. 197, Sheepshead Bay’s James Madison High School and Brooklyn College in 1959, which he attended briefly before transferring to the University of Chicago, was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his “groundbreaking career in politics, visionary approach to public policy and higher education, dedication to civic welfare and commitment to equality.”