SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, who could be the first Jewish president of the United States two years from now, is currently the target of a pressure campaign on Facebook paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobbying group known as AIPAC.
The sponsored post urges Facebook users to add their names to an online petition telling Sanders that “America stands with Israel.”
According to data from Facebook’s Ad Library, three versions of the sponsored post paid for by AIPAC are currently running across the country, focused mainly on users in three important Democratic primary states: California, Texas and Florida.
The text of the post makes no mention of why the lobbying group thinks the independent senator from Vermont needs such a reminder, but its only other current paid ads on Facebook all target Rep. Ilhan Omar, a progressive Muslim Democrat who has questioned the lobbying group’s influence. Sanders has been one of the few congressional voices to rise in defense of Omar.
Sanders, whose father’s family in Poland was nearly wiped out in the Holocaust, has been a frequent critic of Israeli policy. During the 2016 campaign, he called Israel’s use of force during its bombardment of Gaza in 2014 — killing at least 1,473 civilians, including 501 children — had been “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate.”
After he was denounced by Israeli politicians for supposedly giving comfort to Hamas, he told CNN that he favored “a more balanced position” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “Israel has a right to live in freedom, independently and in security without having to be subjected terrorist attacks,” he said, “but I think that we will not succeed to ever bring peace into that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect.”'
Read more: AIPAC Targets Bernie Sanders in Facebook Ads Focused on Key Democratic Primary States
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