Bernie Sanders is officially running against Israeli apartheid! Yesterday Sanders posted an ad on his Facebook page featuring excerpts from activist Shaun King’s introduction of the Vermont senator at his Brooklyn College campaign launch March 2. King embraced the label that Donald Trump has given Sanders, of being crazy.
Listen, he has always rejected the status quo. He spoke out against apartheid in South Africa when crazily that was an unpopular thing to do. And even today he speaks out against apartheid-like conditions in Palestine even though it’s not popular. Listen, I don’t care if 45 calls him Crazy Bernie because he is a little crazy.
The ad uses the apartheid reference with the graphics above and below, including the statement, “Bernie smashes the Israel status quo.”
Peter Feld sent me the ad. “It’s a great ad, how it uses Trump at the end, saying ‘He doesn’t quit.’ I went to the kickoff rally. Chants of “Free Palestine” broke out while the crowd was waiting for it to start. For sure you’ll hear ‘from the river to the sea’ at next year’s DNC.”
The ad is surely a tactical shift by Sanders from 2016, when the senator, who is Jewish, largely avoided foreign policy, couched his criticisms of Israel in praise and bashed Netanyahu by saying, “There comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”
And that was seen as revolutionary! But that was then and this is now. The progressives base of the party is pro-Palestinian, and Sanders is speaking to them.