Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Tuesday during the Democrat debate in Charleston, South Carolina, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “a reactionary racist.”
The audience applauded.
Sanders had been asked by the moderator, CBS News’ Major Garrett, to explain his recent recent condemnation of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the country’s foremost pro-Israel organization, as a platform for “bigotry.”
Sanders did not explain what he meant, but said that “sadly, tragically, in Israel, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country.”
The Vermont Senator — who is currently touting the possibility that he might be the “first Jewish president” — was also asked whether he would move the U.S. embassy in Israel back from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
He said he would consider the idea, adding that while he was “absolutely” committed to “protecting the independence and security of Israel … you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people.”
Sanders has been endorsed by anti-Israel radicals such as Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), whose hostility to the Jewish state has often crossed the line into antisemitism.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), asked a similar question about the embassy, dodged entirely, saying the issue of Jerusalem was solely up to the two parties in the dispute.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.