American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen released the following statement:
“The American Jewish Congress recognizes the remarks made by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during an address to the J Street 2017 National Congress where he stressed the importance of progressives acknowledging the “enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people”.
“This is a significant change from the divisive language used during Senator Sander’s presidential campaign, however we remain concerned because the Senator also used the opportunity to label Israel as a foreign occupier. The timing of his remarks may have been due to Rep Ellison’s loss for the position of Chairperson of the DNC, an election that was reportedly impacted by Ellison’s anti-Israel track record, which further makes it increasingly clear that in American politics you can’t leave any group out, including Jewish Americans, as we all matter.
“It is unfortunate that in recent times we have witnessed a growing anti-Israel tendency emanating from the progressive side of politics in the United States. Senator Sanders’ remarks demonstrate that he is in a position where he can begin to undo the damage caused throughout his campaign and begin to re-establish Israel as a beacon of democratic values within a troubled region. The American Jewish Congress hopes Senator Sanders and other members of the progressive movement will work towards strengthening U.S.-Israel relations, and fighting more actively anti-Semitism and the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”