US candidate Bloomberg vows to back Israel, takes dig at Sanders
US Democratic presidential contender Michael Bloomberg has vowed to “always” support Israel, while separately taking a dig at fellow rival Bernie Sanders.
According to Press TV, during a speech on anti-Semitism and foreign policy in Miami on Sunday, he joked he was the only Jewish candidate who has no plan to turn the United States into a “kibbutz,” or a communal farm.
The joke referred to collectivist farms in the Occupied Palestine was an apparent dig at Sanders, who is also Jewish and spent several months in Israel in the 1960s working as a volunteer on a kibbutz.
Bloomberg and Sanders, who is a front-runner in the race, are both vying for the Democratic nomination to face off Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.
Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, proposes left-wing policies like scrapping private health insurance in favor of a government-run Medicare for All program, based on the government program for elderly Americans.
On the other hand, Bloomberg, a late entrant to the Democratic nominating race, has more centrist positions and favors the creation of a government-run health insurance plan that would exist besides private plans.
The former mayor of New York previously criticized leading Democratic candidates for being too liberal to defeat Trump.
His remarks on Sunday appeared to target Sanders, despite not mentioning the Vermont senator by name.
“I’m not the only Jewish candidate running for president. But I am the only one who doesn’t want to turn America into a kibbutz,” he told a campaign event at a synagogue.
He also pledged never to impose any conditions on US military aid to Israel.
“As president, I will always have Israel’s back,” he added.
Sanders and some other US Democratic presidential candidates previously said Washington should withhold military aid to Israel if it continues to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank in Palestine.