Sanders Says He Takes a More “Balanced Position” About U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Israel

Bernie Sanders appeared on CNN’s State of the Union from New York City on Sunday where he advocated for a more balanced Middle East policy and described Israel’s 2014 War in the Gaza Strip as disproportionate.

Sanders, who is Jewish, said he’s taking a more “balanced position” when asked if he’s become more critical about U.S. foreign policy towards Israel.

The timing of Sander’s slightly negative sentiment about supporting Israel could not have come at a worse time for the Vermont senator who grew up in Brooklyn and is trying to capture as many New York delegates as he possibly can during the April 19th New York Primary elections which has 247 Democratic delegates up for grabs and is considered an influential state for the outcome of the New York Democratic race.

New York City is home to 1.1 million Jewish people in the metro area.

Sanders is currently 250 delegates behind Clinton and needs to capture more wins- by large margins- in the remaining states on the primary election calendar to narrow Clinton’s lead and overtake her.

Sanders said on CNN’S State of the Union that Israel has the right to live in freedom, independently, and in security, without having to be subjected to terrorist attacks but pointed out, “we will not succeed to ever bring peace into that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect.”

Sanders acknowledged that it’s a difficult issue and said good people have tried to deal with it for years.

“All that I’m saying, as somebody who is absolutely pro-Israeli, absolutely, 100 percent supports Israel’s right to exist in peace and in security, I think that in — the only way we succeed is that if the United States plays the role which is, of course, we are going to support Israel, but you cannot ignore the needs of the Palestinian people” Sanders said.

“In Gaza right now, poverty, unemployment — their community has been decimated. You can’t ignore that fact. And you can’t just be only concerned about Israel’s needs. You have to be concerned about the needs of all of the people in the region” Sanders added.

U.S. Nominating Contests

On Saturday Ted Cruz won all 34 delegates in Colorado’s Convention which brings him to within 198 delegates of Donald Trump before New York’s Primary elections on April 19th.

Donald Trump needs as many delegates as he can to reach the 1,237 threshold needed for nomination and avoid a contest Republican Convention.

Currently, Trump has 743 delegates to Cruz’s 545.

Bernie Sanders beat Hilary Clinton in Wyoming on Saturday but drew the same number of delegates as Clinton in a state with 14 Democratic delegates.

Sanders and Clinton each picked up 7 delegates in Wyoming.

Clinton leads Sanders by 250 delegates (1,287 to 1,037) with pledged delegates, according to the A.P.

Adding Super Delegates into the mix, Clinton’s lead is much larger, 1,756 to 1,068.

There are 2,383 delegates needed for nomination.

Committee For A Responsible Budget Challenges Fiscal Policies From The Sanders Campaign

According to a new non-partisan report from the Committee For A Balanced Budget which used research from the Tax Policy Center et. al, Bernie Sanders’ major policy initiatives, which includes a universal single payer health care plan and free college tuition among other things, would cost over $17 trillion and up to $28 trillion.

Based on estimates from the Tax Policy Center, Sander’s tax increases would raise less than $ 16 trillion.

Including interest, the net result would be $2 trillion to $15 trillion of added debt, causing debt to rise from about 74 percent of GDP in 2015 (and 86 percent by 2026 under current fiscal policy) to between 93 and 139 percent of GDP by 2026.

Those estimates sharply contrast with  the Sanders campaign’s own estimates which suggest his major policies would actually reduce debt by $2.8 trillion relative to current law, resulting in a debt-to-GDP ratio of 75 percent of GDP by 2026.

The Committee For A Balanced Budget maintains that actual revenue from taxes will be significantly lower than estimates from the Sanders campaign.

One respected health economist, Kenneth Thorpe, argues that the Sanders campaign is significantly understating the cost of their universal single payer health plan.

“Overall, rather than $2.8 trillion of deficit reduction, we estimate at least $2 trillion and as much as $15 trillion of higher deficits under Senator Sanders’s policies – depending on whether one uses the campaign’s single-payer estimates (developed by economist Gerald Friedman) or outside estimates from economist Kenneth Thorpe”  the Committee For A Balanced Budget wrote in their analysis.

For further analysis and commentary about these topics, you can view my latest You Tube video which is completely unedited (similar to my other You Tube videos I have added here ) and was recorded unscripted from my iPhone.

-John Schweitzer




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