The Daily Beast

Biden and Sanders Teams Stand Off Over Israeli ‘Occupation’

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The Democratic Party’s left and moderate wings continue to reach tentative compromises on a number of issues that once fiercely divided them. But there’s one perennial political sticking point that’s proving immune to the party’s kumbaya moment: Israel. 

In recent years, a vocal and influential chorus of progressives have disagreed privately, and at times rather publicly, with the party’s conventional wisdom on Israel. Led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), these progressives have challenged the Democratic establishment consensus view on Israel, vocally criticizing the government there, especially its treatment of the Palestinians.  

That progressive push has continued as supporters of Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden meet to put together the Democratic National Committee’s 2020 platform. Draft language of the section on Israel, which was reviewed by The Daily Beast, offers some compromises and concessions for each side, those familiar with the issue say. But it notably leaves out a word that progressives believe is foundational to the issue. It doesn’t mention Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank. 

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