Greenblatt: Sanders showing total disregard for Israel

Former US envoy to the Middle East blasts Sanders' decision not to attend AIPAC: Outrageous and shocking.

Ben Ariel ,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt

Jason Greenblatt, the former US envoy to the Middle East, on Sunday night criticized Senator Bernie Sanders following his announcement he would boycott the annual AIPAC policy conference.

In a tweet, Greenblatt suggested that Sanders should attend AIPAC but not to speak, rather to listen and learn.

“Outrageous, shocking statement; wrong on so many levels; shows a total disregard for Israel & complete lack of understanding of the conflict & the very serious security challenges Israel faces. Bernie Sanders & staff should attend AIPAC conference not to speak but to listen/learn!” he wrote.

Sanders wrote on Twitter earlier on Sunday, “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference,” he tweeted.

“As president, I will support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians and do everything possible to bring peace and security to the region,” he added.

AIPAC later fired back at Sanders and said, “Senator Sanders has never attended our conference and that is evident from his outrageous comment. In fact, many of his own Senate and House Democratic colleagues and leaders speak from our platform to the over 18,000 Americans from widely diverse backgrounds - Democrats, Republicans, Jews, Christians, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, progressives, Veterans, students, members of the LGBTQ+ community who participate in the conference to proclaim their support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

“By engaging in such an odious attack on this mainstream, bipartisan American political event, Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel. Truly shameful,” the organization added.

Sanders was one of several Democratic presidential hopefuls who declined to speak at last year’s AIPAC conference, but he previously said he would not object to attending this year’s conference.

His statement follows that of Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who indicated she would skip the AIPAC conference and did not push back against questionable assertions about the lobby.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized the Israeli government, most recently last week when he asserted that it is racist.