NEW YORK—Last week in a New York Daily News interview, Senator Sanders erroneously stated the number of Palestinian civilians killed during the 2014 Gaza conflict, for which he has since apologized. Today, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the Democratic presidential candidate characterized Israel’s actions in the 2014 Gaza War as “disproportionate.” In response, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen expressed concern over Sanders’ statements:
“Senator Sanders’ failure to demonstrate a grasp of the Palestinian terrorism that fueled Israel’s actions to protect its citizens in the summer of 2014 is extremely concerning. Any attempt by a presidential candidate to qualify Israel’s self-defense against indiscriminate attacks without mentioning the nature of the attacks is a worrisome signal.
“The fact is that Hamas and other groups acquired, aimed and fired rockets into Israeli civilian centers, often at the expense of their own people. They built terror tunnels with the sole intent of murdering Israeli citizens. Failing to account for the threats Hamas poses to the lives of innocent Israelis, as well as the shared responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to help alleviate the conditions in Gaza, is a troubling reflection of Senator Sanders’ understanding of the region.
“On behalf of the American Jewish Congress, I hope that moving forward Senator Sanders will adopt a more balanced perspective on the 2014 conflict as well as the current political reality in Gaza.”