Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Sanders: Protests ‘may be Biden’s Vietnam’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May19,2024

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said that the protests on college campuses over Israel’s war against Hamas could be President Biden’s Vietnam War, making the comparison to the anti-war protests in the 1960s while also offering support for the president’s statement this week.

“I am thinking back and other people are making this reference that this may be Biden’s Vietnam,” Sanders told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, who asked the senator what could happen to Biden and his reelection campaign.

“[Former President] Lyndon Johnson in many respects was a very, very good president. Domestically he brought forth some major pieces of legislation. He chose not to run in ’68 because of opposition to his views on Vietnam and I worry very much that President Biden is putting himself in a position where he has alienated, not just young people, but a lot of the Democratic base, in terms of his views on Israel and this war,” Sanders said.

Biden on Thursday, in his first public remarks since the anti-war demonstrations on college campuses broke out, was sharply critical of many aspects to the protests. And, he said the protests have not caused him to rethink his policy in the Middle East.

Sanders suggested Biden change course.

“I would hope very much that from certainly a policy point of view, from a moral point of view, the president stops giving a blank check to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu and I would hope that they understand that from a political point of view, this has not been helpful. Quite the contrary,” the senator told CNN.

But, Sanders was supportive of Biden’s overall statement on Thursday, during which the president condemned vandalism and trespassing but defended the right to peacefully demonstrate.

“He’s exactly right is that we don’t want protests that are violent and we absolutely will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, or any form of bigotry,” Sanders said.

He sought though to explain the reason why students are protesting and warned against equating all the protests with antisemitism. He said that “as a young man,” he was involved in civil rights demonstrations and he was arrested for taking over the administration office at the University of Chicago.

“I think its important to understand why these young people are out there, and they’re out there for the right reasons, to protest U.S. continued military aid and money to a right wing extremist Netanyahu government, which is in a destructive war against the Palestinian people,” the senator said.

He added the he believes “the war policies of the Netanyahu government are a disaster” and “are in violation of international law and absolutely in violation of American law.”

“But I think…the idea that people who are critical of what Netanyahu is doing are antisemitic, that is nonsense — and that is a very, very dangerous line to cross in terms of freedom of expression in this country,” Sanders said.

The senator has been repeatedly critical of Netanyahu throughout the war, most recently accusing him of “ethnic cleansing” in Gaza. He has also opposed more U.S. funding to Israel and called for the Biden administration to end support.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Sanders: Protests ‘may be Biden’s Vietnam’”
  1. Do you believe that these protests could significantly impact President Biden’s standing among young voters and the Democratic base?

  2. “I am thinking back and other people are making this reference that this may be Biden’s Vietnam,” Sanders told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

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