Updated Mar 1, 2020 - World

Israel's UN ambassador calls Bernie Sanders an "ignorant fool"

Danny Danon

Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon tore into Sen. Bernie Sanders during his speech at the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC Sunday morning, calling the 2020 front-runner an "ignorant fool” and “a liar” and telling the audience, “We don’t want Sanders in Israel."

Why it matters: AIPAC, which has faced increasing difficulty in recent years maintaining American bipartisan relations with Israel, was hoping to avoid partisan politics at this year's conference. Danon’s remarks are not going to make this any easier.

The backdrop: Sanders sparked a controversy last week when he announced he will boycott the AIPAC conference because it provides a platform for what he called anti-Palestinian bigotry.

  • Danon in his speech referenced Sanders' attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during last week's Democratic debate, in which he called Netanyahu “a reactionary racist."
  • Asked about Sanders' comments last week, Netanyahu refrained from attacking him and only said he thought the senator was wrong to call him a racist.
  • Netanyahu aides told me Danon's remarks about Sanders were not coordinated with the prime minister.
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