US: Bernie Sanders calls Netanyahu 'reactionary racist'

Feb 27,2020

Vermont senator says if he is elected US president, he would consider moving US embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "reactionary racist" at the Democratic presidential debate.

Sanders said if he is elected, he would "take into consideration" moving the US embassy back to Tel Aviv, adding that Middle East policy should be about protecting Israel, "but you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people."

"I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that right now, sadly, tragically, in Israel, through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country," he said.

Sanders said the US has to have a policy that reaches out to the Palestinians and brings nations together.

In late 2017, US President Donald Trump unilaterally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, triggering a world outcry. The following May, Washington relocated its embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the third holiest city for all Muslims around the world.

Apart from Sanders, six other candidates vying to take on Trump were on the stage at Tuesday night's Democratic debate in South Carolina.