Sanders calls for balanced position on Israeli-Palestinian issue

WASHINGTON, May 21 (KUNA) — Democratic US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders plans to aggressively seek party platform concessions during the Democratic National Convention in July, including that the party adopt a more balanced position regarding Israel and the Palestinians, a Sanders campaign aide said.
The adviser, who spoke at week’s end on the condition that he remain anonymous, said the issue of US policy toward Israel “absolutely, legitimately will be a point of conversation.” Vermont Senator Sanders, who campaigns to the left of Clinton on most every issue, is seeking a more “even-handed” US approach to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, the adviser said.
The current Democratic Party platform provides little detail on the longstanding issue, endorsing “a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples.” During a debate with Clinton last month, Sanders, who described himself as “100 percent pro-Israel,” said that the 2014 military assault by Israel on the Gaza Strip was “disproportionate” to the threat posed by Hamas rockets launched from Palestinian territory into Israel. Sanders, who is Jewish, grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
Clinton has said that if she is elected President, she would take the US-Israeli relationship to the “next level” and invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington during her first month in office.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said during Republican candidate debates earlier this year that he would remain “neutral” on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. That remark led to him being sharply criticized by several of his now defeated opponents, who said they would not be neutral but would tilt strongly toward Israel.
In a subsequent interview with the New York Times in March, Trump said that until the Palestinians give up terror and recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a peace agreement will never be reached. (end) rm.gta

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