Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Bernie Sanders Tells Arab-Americans He Wants ‘Level Playing Field’ on Israel Policy

Bernie Sanders, speaking in an Arab-American stronghold, said he would aim for a “level playing field” in U.S. Middle East policy.

Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont bidding for the Democratic presidential nomination, said at a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, on Monday that brokering Israeli-Arab peace is daunting.

“For decades now there has been hatred and warfare in the Middle East, everybody knows it,” he said. “We’ve had some presidents — Carter, Clinton others — who have tried to their best to resolve it.

“All I can tell you is I will make every single effort to bring rational people on both sides together so that hopefully we can have a level playing field, the United States treating everybody in that region equally.” The crowd erupted in applause.

Arab-American groups have long complained that U.S. policy in the Middle East tilts too much toward Israel.

The speech, the day before the Michigan primary, appealed to an important constituency in the state, Arab- and Muslim-Americans, and may have helped propel him to his surprise primary win the next day.

The passage about Israeli-Arab peace was excerpted from C-Span coverage by the Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion site.

Sanders, who is Jewish, staked out a position on the issue closer to Donald Trump, the front-runner among Republicans, than the other Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton, or any of the Republicans. Trump has taken hits from his Republican rivals and from Clinton for insisting he would remain neutral in brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“I know, I know there are people of good will in Israel and the Arab communities, this is not an easy task, but it is a task that we must pursue,” Sanders said. “We cannot continue to have for another 60 years with the kind of hatred and conflict that exists in the Middle East.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.