'In a rare move, 10 US senators wrote Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week calling on him “not to demolish the Palestinian village of Susiya and the Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar” in the occupied West Bank.
“Your government’s threats to demolish these communities are particularly distressing in light of [Israel’s] efforts to dramatically expand settlements throughout the West Bank,” the lawmakers state.
In September, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said that the demolitions would be war crimes for which Netanyahu and other top officials could be personally liable.
Last week, European Union diplomats also lamented planned demolitions, but indicated no change in their policy of providing Israel with unconditional aid and support.
Among the signatories of the letter to Netanyahu is Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who mounted a strong challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential primaries. Sanders is a perceived 2020 frontrunner.
Though he has a mixed record on Palestinian rights, Sanders was often refreshingly outspoken during the campaign, garnering cheers from Democratic audiences.
Earlier this year, Sanders appeared to be backsliding when he joined the 99 other US senators in smearing UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, and claiming that the UN is singling out Israel, a serial violator of international law, for criticism.
At the time, this writer noted that the diverse coalition Sanders brought together would be jeopardized if Sanders thinks Palestinians can be thrown under the bus with no reaction.'
Read more: US senators cautiously challenge ethnic cleansing by Israel
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