Sanders says there's not 'any doubt' what Netanyahu is doing now is 'ethnic cleansing'

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took aim at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again on Sunday, saying that Israel’s actions in Gaza are “ethnic cleansing.”

Sanders reiterated his familiar call on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday to hold Netanyahu responsible for Israel’s actions in Gaza, pointing to the staggering death toll and the displacement of Palestinians in the region. He was asked to respond to the ongoing pro-Palestinian protests that have broken out on college campuses across the country and to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) remarks last week when visiting Columbia University.

“What I think the essential point that Ilhan made is that we do not want to see antisemitism in this country. And I think the word genocide is something that is being determined by the International Court of Justice,” he said.

“But just as what I will say: I don’t think there’s any doubt that what Netanyahu is doing now — displacing 80% of the population in Gaza — is ethnic cleansing. That’s what it is. Pushing out huge numbers of people,” he added.

Omar visited Columbia’s campus last week, where the national spotlight has focused on the hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered there. CNN played a clip of her comments on the ongoing protests on “State of the Union” on Sunday.

“I think it is really unfortunate that people don’t care about the fact that all Jewish kids should be kept safe and that we should not have to tolerate antisemitism or bigotry for all Jewish students, whether they are pro-genocide or anti-genocide,” she said.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized Netanyahu for the ongoing war in Gaza and has opposed more U.S. funding to Israel. He also re-upped his calls for an end to U.S. funding to Israel’s actions in Gaza.

“And now we’re looking at the possibility of an attack on Rafah, where people have gone to as a so-called safety zone. So, what’s going on there, again, to my mind, is outrageous. And as you’ve indicated, I strongly oppose U.S. funding for Netanyahu’s war machine,” he added.

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