HomeUncategorizedBernie Sanders Discusses U.S.-Israel Relationship At J Street Forum & More

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Green smoothies for Bernie!

Good interview and in CNBC of all places.

John Harwood: Last question. When we did this interview four years ago, you ended it by saying, “don’t underestimate me”.

Bernie Sanders: Did I say that, John?

John Harwood: You did.

Bernie Sanders: And you underestimated me.

John Harwood: I confess that I did. But right now, I think a whole lot of people are discounting your chances, or in your view may be underestimating you. What would you say to them?

Bernie Sanders: When I became mayor of the city of Burlington way back when in 1981, a local reporter said, “Well the odds of Sanders winning against the five-term incumbent, running as an independent, are about 100 to 1.” I won. Last time around, taking on the entire Democratic establishment, we ended up winning 22 states and got more young people’s votes than Trump and Clinton combined.

The ideas that I talked about four years ago seemed so radical and extreme. Today they’re kind of mainstream ideas, right?

Don’t underestimate me.


Lol, “Don’t underestimate me”, yah baby.



Of course, the article says fourth but fails to mention the other candidate he may fall behind. Bernie is starting to pour significant resources into Iowa, including airing tv ads, so we will see how that moves the needle.


Joe Biden risks coming in fourth place in Iowa early next year, nearly a dozen top Democrats in the state have told Bloomberg News. The outlet’s sources reportedly blamed Biden’s poor standing on a badly organized campaign that has failed to engage with voters and party leaders. They said Biden has so far not met with enough small groups of voters and party officials for their liking. They warned that Biden could suffer a crippling loss behind Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, who both reportedly have better organized campaigns in Iowa.


🤣“except with Sanders, who commandeered the stage and the conversation to their visible alarm”🤣


Sanders’ remarks, delivered at the annual confab for J Street, which advocates for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, represent a top presidential candidate’s boldest departure yet from that norm. But they’re only the latest step in an evolutionary process for the Democratic Party. In the past nine months, Democratic 2020 contenders have one by one warmed to putting conditions on American security assistance in order to push Israeli officials to negotiate with the Palestinians. They’ve mulled blocking aid from being used in violations of international law, such as annexing Palestinian land. And they’ve clearly committed themselves to using new tactics to resurrect the decades-old push for two independent states, Israel and Palestine.

So perhaps it should be no surprise that Sanders’ proposal was greeted by cheers ― and that it was largely treated as just one more in a range of options for dealing with a human rights crisis. J Street officials didn’t feel the need to run damage control. Neither did Sanders’ campaign. And so far, his rivals for the Democratic nomination haven’t attacked him for his comments. At the end of former President Barack Obama’s time in office, Democrats regularly boasted about the massive new annual aid package he had secured for Israel. This is where they are now.

Sanders has driven a lot of that change. The independent Vermont senator, who in his 2016 primary run demonstrated the potential for mainstream Democratic realignment on Israel with frequent commentary on respecting Palestinians and tough words for the traditionally dominant pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, seemed omnipresent at the J Street conference. Of the four politicians who spoke Monday, he drew the loudest cheers. Even when he wasn’t in the room, like at a side panel on Palestinian organizing, his name came up: Rawan Odeh of the group New Story Leadership spoke of him as a model for listening to the community’s concerns in a way powerful Americans usually haven’t.

The fact that even Sanders rivals, such as centrist fellow speaker Pete Buttigieg, have urged big changes to Obama’s aid policy shows how much of the Democratic Party now believes a major reboot to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is essential. It suggests they don’t see the issue as a political loser. And it indicates that many politically savvy Democrats aren’t ready to be cowed by Trump’s bid to paint them as anti-Semitic for questioning Israel’s actions.

“I am very proud to be Jewish and look forward to being the first Jewish president,” Sanders said Monday, using an approach far more personal than his usual stump speech. “If there is any people on earth who understands the danger of racism and white nationalism, it is certainly the Jewish people, and if there is any people on Earth who should do everything to fight against Trump’s efforts to divide us… it is the Jewish people.”

Klobuchar, one of the more conservative candidates, thanked AIPAC during her Sunday night remarks, drawing the ire of some J Street backers. And Biden, arguably still the front-runner in the race, shied away from talk of conditions on aid or real criticism of Israel in his video, being vague when speaking about who was to blame for the failure to achieve peace except when criticizing the Palestinians.

But there was a clear sense that even as Rhodes and fellow Obama White House aide Tommy Vietor led discussions with the candidates ― except with Sanders, who commandeered the stage and the conversation to their visible alarm ― the next Democratic president isn’t likely to try to turn back the clock to the era that ended in January 2017. Between Trump’s reversals of traditional American policy to benefit Netanyahu, the country’s slide toward undemocratic behavior, like policies seen as denying full equality to its Arab citizens, and rising stateside awareness of Palestinians’ struggles, too much has happened.



Moderate Democrats offer a conservative vision of progress, while “progressives” offer a more radical and democratic version. Recent reports of Pete Buttigieg’s bromance with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who apparently recommended several staffers to Buttigieg’s campaign, reveals that the mayor from Indiana, who is positioning himself as the fresh-faced centrist alternative to Biden, is committed to the same elite and technocratic vision as the former vice president.

During his comeback speech on Saturday in Queens, Sanders made it clear that he has a different view, telling the massive crowd of supporters that those who benefit the most from the status quo will fiercely resist real change. “The question we’ve got to answer,” Sanders said, is “are we prepared to stand up to them and transform this country?”

As more Democratic politicians have come to call themselves progressive, the term, which implies a deep commitment to progress, has lost some of its meaning. All of the candidates in the Democratic primaries claim to fight for progress, but the real question that needs to be asked is what kind of progress they’re actually fighting for.



T and R, LD!! 🙂

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