Bernie Sanders’ most high-profile black supporter has described the socialist senator’s presidential campaign as “even more progressive” than those of Democratic insurgent Jesse Jackson in the 1980s.

“Absolutely, no doubt about it,” the academic and campaigner Cornel West told The Guardian in an interview last week. “[T]he Sanders campaign is even more progressive than Jackson’s were, because his critique of Wall Street is more direct.”

Acknowledging that Sanders does not have strong support among black Americans, West said, “[T]hat’s what we are going to get—once black people find out who Brother Sanders is.”

“In my mind, the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement will recognize that Brother Bernie is much stronger on people, on economic justice, and on racism than any other candidates,” he added.

West acknowledged that there were issues on which he and Sanders differ and discussed Israel in particular.

The Guardian reports:

West – who said he believed “we’ve got to respond to the Israeli occupation of Palestine the way we’d respond to the Palestinian occupation of the Jews” – endorses the movement to boycott Israel. Like most Democratic politicians, Sanders supports Israel and a two-state solution, although he skipped Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress and supported the Iran sanctions deal.

But West said he and Sanders “fundamentally agree that a precious Israeli baby is as valued as a precious Palestinian baby” as a “moral and spiritual issue”.

Noting that Sanders “supports a Palestinian state and a Jewish state,” West said he believed “at the moral and spiritual level, the occupation of a people is wrong, and I think Bernie Sanders would agree with me on that. I am not telling you he told me that, but, because he is such a moral person, I think Bernie Sanders would agree with that.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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