Speed Reads

Sunday shows

Sanders says Americans 'should tone down the rhetoric' on Israel-Palestine and 'bring people together'

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday said "we should tone down the rhetoric" when asked about an uptick in attacks against Jewish people in the United States over the last week that appear to be correlated to the fighting that broke out between Israel and Hamas overseas.

CBS News' John Dickerson tried to gauge Sanders' view on the notion that some Democratic lawmakers may have inadvertently contributed to the "vitriol" against American Jews with their harsh critiques of the Israeli government. Dickerson specifically noted that some members of Congress, likely referring to Sanders' allies Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), have recently referred to Israel as an "apartheid state." Sanders didn't address anyone directly or explicitly state how he feels about the use of "apartheid," but he did say the "job of the United States is to bring people together."

Sanders, who has been critical of both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and Hamas, also took a somewhat middle-of-the-road stance when he and Dickerson discussed the U.S.'s policies regarding the Israel-Palestine question. The senator said Washington must "develop an even-handed approach to the conflict," which means being both "pro-Israel" and "pro-Palestine," although he remains a proponent of delaying weapons sales to Israel.