Sen. Sanders: Gaza “May Be Biden’s Vietnam”

11:56 07.05.2024 •

After President Joe Biden delivered a chilling speech telling pro-Palestine student protesters to back off on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has warned that the president may be isolating huge parts of his own base as he faces a moment that echoes the similar mass uprising against the Vietnam War in 1968.

Affirming that pro-Palestine student protesters at Columbia University and over 100 other campuses nationwide are demonstrating for the “right reasons,” the senator said that Biden is standing against his own party base and, indeed, the majority of the country in continuing to back Israel’s genocidal assault of Gaza.

“As a young man I was involved in civil rights demonstration, I was arrested in taking over the administration office at the University of Chicago because there was racism and segregation going on at that time,” Sanders said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “The truth of the matter is, if there had not been protests and sit-ins and demonstrations, we would not have made the progress we have made in this country.”

“The right to dissent, the right to protest, that is what the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States is all about,” said Sanders. “That’s what, in fact, makes you a free country. Being a free country means that somebody goes out and demonstrates, you don’t have to agree with them. They have the right. That’s the difference between autocracy and dictatorship and a free country.”

He went on to say that this moment is a crucial test for Biden in the same way that the uprisings against the Vietnam War in 1968 served as a test for politicians. Then, the anti-war movement followed President Lyndon B. Johnson around on campaign stops — similarly to how Biden and his administration is protested by advocates for Palestinian rights at public events today — over his escalation of the war, with Johnson ultimately dropping his reelection campaign.

“In terms of his campaign… this may be Biden’s Vietnam,” Sanders said. “Lyndon Johnson, in many respects, was a very, very good president, domestically brought forth some major pieces of legislation. He chose not to run in ‘68 because of opposition to his views on Vietnam.”

Advocates for Palestinian rights have long said that Biden is risking his own presidency due to his backing of the genocide in Gaza, which has killed or injured at least 5 percent of the population of Gaza so far and threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands more.

Polls have found that public opinion has shifted dramatically against Israel since October as Israeli forces have killed over 34,000 Palestinians with heavy use of U.S. weaponry, with only 18 percent of Democrats approving of Israel’s siege of Gaza and 75 percent disapproving, according to a Gallup survey released last month.

Young voters in particular are opposed to Israel’s massacre. A January poll found that a plurality of people aged 18 to 29 say Israel is committing genocide in Gaza, with only 24 percent disagreeing. The dissent on U.S. policy in the Middle East has driven voters away from Biden, contributing to a plummeting approval rating among young voters amid the assault.


read more in our Telegram-channel