Apr. 5, 2016
It might be comforting if we could put Bernie Sanders’ comments about Israel in an interview with New York Daily News editorial board down to the same kind of appalling ignorance that characterizes so much of what Donald Trump says about foreign policy. But Sanders, who has spent the last 26 years of his life in Congress, can’t plead ignorance when it comes to his distortions of the record regarding the 2014 war with Gaza. Instead, we must acknowledge that Sanders’ willingness to believe the lies that are put forth by the Jewish state’s worst critics is part of something even more ominous than Trump’s lack of knowledge and isolationist instincts. Sanders’ comments reflect a mindset of the left-wing base of the Democratic Party, which views the Middle East conflict through the prism of Israel’s foes. By failing to acknowledge the real reason for the lack of peace and instead focusing obsessively on canards about “disproportionate” attacks and distorted arguments about settlements, Sanders isn’t being merely wrongheaded. He’s showing us the future of the Democratic Party’s foreign policy in an anti-Israel trend that has been slowly building for decades.