Bernie Sanders calls the killing of Palestinian demonstrators ‘tragic’

Bernie Sanders speaking to a crowd of supporters at a Democratic unity rally at the Rail Event Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, April 21, 2017. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders criticized Israel’s use of force on the border with Gaza in a tweet.

“The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response,” Sanders, who was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 and the first Jewish presidential candidate to win nominating contests in a major party, tweeted on Saturday. The tweet garnered 26,000 likes.

He also tweeted: “Meanwhile, the situation in Gaza remains a humanitarian disaster. The U.S. must play a more positive role in ending the Gaza blockade and helping Palestinians and Israelis build a future that works for all.”

Last month, Sanders helped launch what purports to be a global peace movement on the anniversary of the Iraq War, which he said precipitated much of the chaos in the Middle East.

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“Had it not been for the Iraq War, ISIS would almost certainly not exist,” Sanders said in the Global Call for Peace. “It undermined American diplomatic efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”