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tv   U.S.- Israel Relations and Middle East Senator Sanders  CSPAN  March 6, 2017 1:56am-2:35am EST

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gathering,ting, this with a renewed sense of what we can do as individuals and as a movement to bring about social justice and peace in this country and in these two countries that we love. thank you. >> the conference included a keynote address from bernie sanders, who took the opportunity to condemn anti-semitism and who talked about the importance of a two state solution. this is 40 minutes.
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for all of us who followed the political events of the last several years, we have come to know him on a first name basis. the juniorg of senator from vermont, bernie sanders. during the course of his presidential campaign, i heard schoolny how his old
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jewish-inflected accent reminded people of an uncle, a grandfather, a passionate voice that imparted lessons and would lesso it is what he was saying that recalled an earlier generation in my family. his advocacy for the rights and the dignity of working people reminded me of my parents and my uncle, all union and labor lawyers. they work and fought for an america that would live up to the promise of a land of freedom
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and justice for all citizens and they were clearheaded about the challenges they faced. they refuse to give up. those where their values and their tradition. , too.our tradition they have formed the backbone of the senator's support for byael, a country founded progressive dreamers who wanted a social democracy and they have to support a two-state solution. clear thatders made the future of israelis and palestinians are intertwined. peace needs to meet security for every israeli and it has to mean security for
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every palestinian. it means achieving self-determination, civil rights , and economic well-being for the palestinian people. along with secretary clinton, senator sanders established a discourse onfor israel and the democratic party. the candidate showed the politicians can win support from pro-israel voters by talking about diplomacy, compromise, and progress towards peace. era, we knowcult that senator sanders will be an important voice to stand up
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against dangers and bigoted policies and standing up for leadership that benefits all americans and holds to our democratic values at home and abroad. it is my honor to welcome to the sanders.nie pplause] [hall and oates plays] bernie sanders: thank you. thank you, richard. begin by thanking -- thank you.
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begin by thanking j street for inviting me to be with you here today. it is an honor and a pleasure to be standing within organization that has shown incredible courage, taking on difficult opposition and understanding that the future of israel and and the worldt requires us to fight for sane and progressive foreign policy ideas. i am further delighted to be in the company of friends from israel and all over the middle east, in fact, the world. challenging and
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difficult time. we will continue the fight for a world of peace, justice, and environmental sanity. i managed to catch a bit of that discussion on the last panel and one panelist made an important point that despair is not an option. now more than ever. we have to continue the fight for justice at all levels. that, since donald victory, there has been an outbreak of anti-semitism in our country. you are alarmed about the desecration of jewish
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threats against about organizations, and more and more anti-somatic eticuage -- anti-sem language. see this language, these at the must be condemned highest levels of government. it was extraordinary that, in the white house holocaust remembrance statement, the
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murder of 6 million jews was not mentioned by the trump administration. trump andt president his political advisor understands that the entire it isis watching and imperative that they are allowed -- and clear in the condemning anti-semitism. there was a murder of two young men from india. condemning all forms of bigotry in this country and around the world. had aow, our nation has rocky road in the fight for
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democracy and in the fight for equal rights. we have struggled from the inception of this country. fight against racism, , we areia, homophobia telling mr. trump and his friends that we are going forward. we will continue to fight against all forms of a good tree and discrimination. i must say that i found it troubling that, in a recent press conference, trump was
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given the opportunity to condemn bigotry and anti-semitism and he chose to respond by bragging about the size of his electoral college victory. serioustion of a is to bring us together and to not divide us up. me take this opportunity to street for the voice they have provided in the middle east and their ongoing efforts s.r peace between israeli
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i understand that this has not always been easy and i applaud j street for being part of a broad foughton of groups that for the nuclear agreement between the united states and partners in iran. that agreement demonstrated that real american leadership and power is not shown by our ability to blow things up. rather, by our ability to bring
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parties together and to make international consensus. years, leaders across prime minister decided theve alarm. with the obama administration was able to do was to get an agreement that dismantled large parts of this nuclear program and put it under inspections, removing the prospect of an iranian nuclear weapon from the list of global threats. as a member of the united states senate, as i'm sure you
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appreciate, i hear a whole lot of speeches. from many ofhear my colleagues. they talk about how tough the united states has to be and how, at the end of the day, military airplanes,s, guns, are all that matter. those colleagues that it is easy to give speeches in the senate or the house, but war ando experience live through the devastations of war.
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i vividly recall all of the rhetoric that came from the push administration and from some of my democratic colleagues about why the war in iraq was the right thing to do. was one of theit great tragedies in modern history. today i, it is probably a knowledge that the war in iraq -- which i am proud that i was -- it is widely
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acknowledged that that was a magnitude unthinkable braveg to the deaths of soldiers. the wounding of tens of thousands of others, both physical and emotional, not to mention the pain for the families. led to the death civilians andraqi the wounding and displacement of many times more people than
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that, creating a cascade of instability around the region that we are still dealing with elsewhere and and will be dealing with for many years to come. iraq cost, the war in us trillions, money that should have been spent on health care, education. in other words, it is easy to give a powerful speech about why we have to go to war. it is far more important that we solverything we can to global conflicts without going to war.
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the war in iraq, like many other military conflicts, had consequences, making us less safe, not more safe. in contrast, the iran nuclear deal, a deal that did not speeches, aatic deal that was complicated, a deal that took an enormous worth, itdiplomatic helps the security of the united states and our partners. security ofey israel, as many israeli experts have acknowledged.
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that is the power of diplomacy whathat, in my view, is real leadership is about. some who opposed this nuclear deal have attacked the supporters for being part of a so-called echo chamber. been,hington, there has for many years, a very loud and thatful echo chamber called for war. time that we had an echo chamber that called for peace. thank you, j street.
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as some of you may know, a few years ago, i was a young man. i had a connection to the state of israel and i lived on a kibbutz for many months. it was a very powerful experience for me and it is something i will never forget. experienced for myself many progressive values israelich the state of was founded and i think it is important for everyone, particularly progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a homeland for the jewish people,
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particularly after the horrors of the holocaust. as we all know, there was another side to this story, 's creation.rael , the foundingry of israel involved the placement -- the displacement of people who are already living there, the palestinian people, over 700,000 were made refugees. acknowledge does not delegitimize israel.
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than acknowledgingolog delegitimizes the united states of america. adid not come to revisit history we are all familiar with or to say that one historical narrative is wrong and another is right. ok,ink the question is, what now? israelis and the outstinians do from here on and what should the policy be to
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end this conflict that has gone end this long and to occupation to create a better and more secure future for shoes, arabs, israelis, and palestinians. -- palestinians? know, thisyou all much fromas taken so so many. gains when israel spends an enormous part of the budget on the military and nobody gains one gaza is obliterated and thousands are made homeless. children andwhen
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young men and women are trained to become suicide bombers. , year after when year, decade after decade, the hatred,about war and rather than peace and development. think for a moment about the incredible potential that is being lost when israelis and palestinians are not coming together to address the environmental and economic challenges of the region. remember the years ago when i got a small sum of money. it was not a whole lot.
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bringing people from the region together and not talking about political differences, but to talk about the nature and severe economic crises and environmental crises facing the region. it was really a beautiful moment to be in a room with sensible people focused on the water water, how we provide and that has to be our goal. our goal is to bring people together in the region to solve the serious problems and our creating a region have a decentle
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life that all human beings are entitled to. i am not naïve. that, given the ,ealities of today, this vision one where people come together focus onddle east to the environmental and social problems that exist, i appearsnd that vision distance and may appear far-fetched. we cannot afford to give up on this.
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so, as american and israeli progressives, what we should demand of our governments to bring that kind of future to the people? it is often said that the relationship we have is based on shared values. i think that that is correct. we then have to ask ourselves what we mean by those and what we are talking about. as progressives, here are some of the values we share here and around the world. we believe in democracy, , opposed touralism
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we respect and will protect the rights of minorities. values.e our those values are based on the backe notion that goes thousands and thousands of years ,hat says that all human beings no matter what color our skin or what part of the world we live ,n, what religion we practice that we share a common humanity. , no matterty is where you are, that we all want andkids to grow up healthy
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to have the best education possible. jobsnt decent productive and we want our kids to have water they can drink and air they can brief that is claimed eathe that is clean. we understand that, if we theinue on this path, planet will not be a healthy planet for our kids and future generations. values, our job is to do everything we can to
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oppose all of the forces in our country and around the world. this is not just an american phenomenon. this is a global phenomenon. earlier this month, at a press conference with netanyahu, donald trump was asked if he supported a two-state solution in his answer was that he is looking at he likes the one that both parties like. i think that he was thinking about whether he liked coca-cola or pepsi better. this is not the answer that the american president should be giving.
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we should be clear that the two-state solution involves the establishment of a palestinian and it has been policy for many years and is supported by an overwhelming international consensus that was reaffirmed by the united nations and the security council resolution. , i understand that the trip administration has walked that statement back, but the casual manner where trump appeared to abandon the two-state policy was typical of his recklessness so far.
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said that he has supports a peace deal and this does not mean much. on what termss and what arrangement. peace mean perpetual bankli role in the west and gaza? that is not tolerable and it is not peace. palestinians in the territories are to be denied self-determination and a state , potentially means an end to a jewish majority
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state. these are serious questions with significant implications. friends, the united states and the state of israel have a strong bond going back to the founding and there is no question that we should and will the a strong friend and ally in years to come. no debates about the. at the same time, we must restrictions daily on political and civil liberties runs contrary to fundamental american and israeli values.
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as the former secretary of state john kerry rightly said in his speech, "friends need to tell ach other the hard truths." and, the hard truth is that they continued occupation into the growth of israeli settlements, -- occupants should maintain. it contributes to suffering and contributes to violence. as the u.s. council meets, it constitutes a flagrant violation of law. i applaud the obama administration decision to abstain from the u.s. security
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council resolution. [applause] sen. sanders: those of us who worry about the future of israel, those of us who really israel, have got to tell the truth about the policies that are hurting chances of israel empty palestinians reaching a peaceful resolution. now, i recognize that the israeli-palestinian conflict is one of the most emotionally in u.s. politics, involving as it does the legitimate historical claims of identity and security of two people in the same region. as clear as i can be. to oppose the policies of a right-wing government and israel does not make one anti-israel or
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anti-somatic. ti-semetic.i we can oppose the policies of president trump without being anti-american. we can oppose the policies of netanyahu without being anti-israel. we can oppose the policies of without beingism anti-muslim. [applause]
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sen. sanders: as i have said many, many times, peace means security. not only for every israeli, but also for every palestinian. [cheers and applause] it means is: supporting self-determination, civil rights, and act him up while being or both people. these ideas are based and the very same shared values that tell us to condemn anti-somatic anti-muslimdemn country, and to make our society a more perfect society. inclusiveness, security, democracy, and justice should inform not only america's
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engagement with israel and palestine but with the region and the world. that is what we stand for. the united states will continue its unwavering commitment to the safety of the state of israel but we must also be clear that peacefully resolving this conflict is the best way to ensure the long-term safety of both peoples and for making america more secure. to my israeli friends here with wetoday, let me say that share many of the same challenges. we see the rise of a politics of thesey and we must meet challenges together. as used


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