Former candidate for U.S. president Bernie Sanders has said that the Israeli occupation must end.
He made the remarks in a five minute video message to the Israeli left-wing opposition Meretz Party. The video was recorded for a conference on Sunday marking the end of the Six-Day War in 1967 and “50 years of Occupation.”
Referring to Meretz as “Israel’s most prominent political organization”, Sanders said that the party stands for “many of the same values that progressives are fighting for here in the United States and throughout the world.”
“We are now in the 50th year of Israel’s occupation, an occupation which denies basic Palestinian rights while failing to deliver Israel real security,” said Sanders, who represents Vermont in U.S. Senate.
“I know so many of you agree with me when I say: this occupation must end. Peace, real peace, means security not only for every Israeli, but for every Palestinian. It means supporting self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for both peoples.”
He further called for a politics of solidarity, saying that brave people who share a common set of values with clear goals “can change a country, they can change the world, they can even change the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Israel has been occupying Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds for 50 years. The occupation is regarded by the international community as illegal.