Sanders pushing Democrats to rebuke Israeli crimes

US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has begun shifting the Democratic Party toward rebuking Israeli crimes against the Palestinians, putting pressure on his rival Hillary Clinton to handle a growing divide within the party.

Support for Israel has long been a policy of the Democratic Party, but consensus on the issue has eroded in recent years.

Tensions between the administration of President Barack Obama and Israel have increased and so has strain among liberal Democrats about Israel’s policies toward the Palestinian people.

Last year, Obama and many fellow Democrats were angered when Republican lawmakers scheduled an address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he condemned Washington’s nuclear deal with Iran.

The scale of civilian casualties in Israel’s attack on the Gaza strip in 2014 also alienated many liberal Democrats. Nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children, were killed in Israel’s onslaught….

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