Dave Weigel in the Washington Post reports that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who spent time as a youth on a kibbutz before moving to Vermont, has been remarkably consistent in his answers on the conflict over the last 27 years, but as the left moves on the question, he could get marooned:
Sanders’s criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu and his support for the two-state solution and Iran nuclear deal are all firmly in the liberal mainstream. On the left, the discussion has moved on to whether people and institutions should boycott and divest from Israel so long as it occupies Palestinian land. In 2014, when asked by the Gallup Poll about Israel’s latest military intervention in Gaza, a 47-31 plurality of Democrats called it “unjustified.” Sanders sided with the minority. For the time being, he’s winning over audience with a succinct, limited answer about Israel. That could change if there’s another flare-up before the primaries.
That was a great poll, wasn’t it? The Democratic base is wising up. We keep predicting that the issue is going to be a live one in next year’s Democratic primaries. The Washington Post’s semi-straightforward observation about BDS (boycott divestment and sanctions) suggests that day is approaching. And Weigel’s point is: these progressives are Sanders’s base, folks who like his line on economic justice. Will they work for him if he’s a tool for Israel?
I’m not sure what the Post means by a “flare-up,” but remember that Sanders became stiffnecked last summer on the Gaza slaughter, standing by Israel at a town meeting as folks shouted Bullshit. Reporters should note Max Blumenthal’s reports in The 51 Day War that Gazans think it’s only a matter of time till the next slaughter.