Bernie Sanders Aims for 'Level Playing Field' in Middle East

Speaking to Arab-Americans at a rally in Michigan, the Vermont senator promises equal treatment to all in the region.

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Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally in Miami, March 8, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally in Miami, March 8, 2016.Credit: AP
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Bernie Sanders, speaking in an Arab-American stronghold, said he would aim for a “level playing field” in U.S. Middle East policy.

Sanders, an Independent senator from Vermont bidding for the Democratic presidential nomination, said at a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, on Monday that brokering Israeli-Arab peace is daunting.

Sanders speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Dearborn, MichiganCredit: YouTube

“For decades now there has been hatred and warfare in the Middle East, everybody knows it,” he said. “We’ve had some presidents — Carter, Clinton others — who have tried to their best to resolve it.

“All I can tell you is I will make every single effort to bring rational people on both sides together so that hopefully we can have a level playing field, the United States treating everybody in that region equally.” The crowd erupted in applause.

Arab-American groups have long complained that U.S. policy in the Middle East tilts too much toward Israel.

The speech, the day before the , appealed to an important constituency in the state, Arab- and Muslim-Americans, and may have helped propel him to his surprise primary win the next day.

The passage about Israeli-Arab peace was excerpted from C-Span coverage by the Daily Wire, a conservative news and opinion site.

Sanders, who is , staked out a position on the issue closer to Donald Trump, the front-runner among Republicans, than the other Democratic contender, Hillary Clinton, or any of the Republicans. and from Clinton for insisting he would remain neutral in brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“I know, I know there are people of good will in Israel and the Arab communities, this is not an easy task, but it is a task that we must pursue,” Sanders said. “We cannot continue to have for another 60 years with the kind of hatred and conflict that exists in the Middle East.”

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