Sanders Receives Applause and Praise for Saying US Should Treat Palestinians With 'Respect and Dignity They Deserve'

Sen. Bernie Sanders earned audience applause and progressive praise Wednesday night for comments on the Democratic debate stage in Atlanta, Georgia endorsing a future U.S. policy that treats Palestinians like human beings.

The Vermont senator’s remarks came—unprompted—during the foreign policy portion of the debate. 

“It is no longer good enough for us simply to be pro-Israel. I am pro-Israel,” Sanders said. “But we must treat the Palestinian people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

“What is going on in Gaza right now, where youth unemployment is 60, 70 percent, is unsustainable,” Sanders added.

The senator’s remarks sparked immediate praise from progressives, political activists, and journalists. 

“I just want to make it clear that almost NO ONE in American politics brings up Palestinian human rights without being forced to,” tweeted the Hill‘s Krystal Ball. “MASSIVE KUDOS to Bernie Sanders.”

The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter that Sanders’ answer showed why the senator is unique among the Democratic candidates.

“Is there even a small chance that any candidate other than Sanders would speak so powerfully about the oppression of Palestinians and how it means we need to re-think support for Israel?” asked Greenwald. “I can’t think of one.”

John Cassidy of The New Yorker noted that Sanders has been a longtime supporter of Palestinian rights.

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