Algemeiner: Major Jewish Organizations Decry Bernie Sanders’ ‘Wildly Inaccurate’ Claim That ‘Over 10,000 Innocent People Killed in Gaza'; Candidate Disputes Account
The Algemeiner quoted Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin harshly criticizing presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for claiming more than 10,000 people died in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
“… Let’s not even start with the wild inaccuracy of his number. Let’s talk about the fact that he didn’t even mention Hamas’ use of the population it rules in Gaza as human shields in those hospitals and apartment buildings he was referring to. Nor did he point out that Israel sent unprecedented warnings to the civilian population in Gaza to evacuate areas it was going to target, by dropping leaflets, sending emails and making phone calls – a practice unique to Israel during wartime.”
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American Jewish leaders decried an allegation about Israel made by Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders during a meeting with the editorial board of the New York Daily News last Friday.
Responding to Sanders’ “recollection” that “over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza” – during Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war against Hamas in the summer of 2014 — when “a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled” and “hospitals… bombed,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) and B’nai B’rith told The Algemeiner on Thursday why they were so incensed.
“The road to Senator Sanders’ repetition of this outrageous slander started with Hamas lies and the failure of an intimidated media in Gaza to do little but publish the original blood libel in their dispatches and mouth them on air,” SWC Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said. “But that is no excuse for a veteran senator, running for the presidency of the United States, who always had access to the real story. Secondly, his narrative doesn’t include the thousands of rockets fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza, and Hamas’ ongoing strategy of using its civilian infrastructure as a shield against Israel.”
Cooper was referring to the terrorist organization’s inflated death-toll numbers, and its use of populated apartment buildings, hospitals and even UN-run schools as bases for weapons caches and rocket-launching pads – both to prevent Israel from attacking the sites and to incur civilian casualties to present as statistics for foreign consumption.
He called on Sanders — who also told the Daily News, “I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been” — to “immediately acknowledge that he made a huge error and apologize to the people of Israel.”
B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin was equally harsh in his criticism of the candidate.
“It appears that Sanders has accepted the Palestinian narrative on the Gaza war whole cloth,” he told The Algemeiner. “But let’s not even start with the wild inaccuracy of his number. Let’s talk about the fact that he didn’t even mention Hamas’ use of the population it rules in Gaza as human shields in those hospitals and apartment buildings he was referring to. Nor did he point out that Israel sent unprecedented warnings to the civilian population in Gaza to evacuate areas it was going to target, by dropping leaflets, sending emails and making phone calls – a practice unique to Israel during wartime.”
By failing to provide the context, Mariaschin said, Sanders was presenting the Hamas narrative, something that is “unacceptable.”
“We have had enough problems on this score without presidential candidates engaging in discourse that is full of wild inaccuracies on what happened during Operation Protective Edge. He should have educated himself before speaking about it, and it is now important that he do so for the future.”
Sanders, he said, “should issue not only a correction, but an apology.”
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