Danny Glover: Clinton and Sanders united on Israel
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Danny Glover: Clinton and Sanders united on Israel

At Democratic convention, Sanders-supporting actor says need for Palestinian statehood is ‘something they both agree on’

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

Actor Danny Glover introduces Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally at Hunters Point park, Monday, April 18, 2016, in the Queens borough of New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)
Actor Danny Glover introduces Bernie Sanders during a campaign rally at Hunters Point park, Monday, April 18, 2016, in the Queens borough of New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

PHILADELPHIA — One of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s most prominent celebrity supporters has taken his call to rally behind Hillary Clinton for the sake of defeating her Republican challenger.

Actor Danny Glover, who has starred in films like “Lethal Weapon,” “The Color Purple,” “Angels in the Outfield” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” arrived at the Philadelphia Convention Center Monday to stand with the Sanders base, while also doing his part to project an image of Democratic Party unity.

“Our responsibility is to defeat the far right,” he told The Times of Israel. “I’ve always said that. I’m going to do whatever I can here to defeat Donald Trump, because that fascist right that often raises its ugly head in our country at various times has also permeated the rest of the world. It’s important that the gains that were made by progressive forces — that we aggressively fight against those trying to change that.”

In the past, Glover has not been shy to voice his political opinions, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been no exception. In May 2014, he protested the screening of a film in which he appeared, “American Revolutionary: the Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” in Tel Aviv.

In a statement formally declaring his opposition to bringing the film to an Israeli audience, he also put his name behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel, saying, “We stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine, and support their call for cultural and academic boycott of Israel… we were shocked to find the film slated to be screened at the DocAviv festival in Israel on May 13th and 15th. This was scheduled without our knowledge.”

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders addresses delegates in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016 (Eric Cortellessa/Times of Israel)
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders addresses delegates in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016 (Eric Cortellessa/Times of Israel)

While Sanders himself has never supported such a political agenda regarding the Jewish state, a portion of his base does, including one of his appointees to the Democrats’ platform drafting committee, philosopher Cornel West.

A failed effort to include language in that platform calling for “an end to occupation and illegal settlements” notwithstanding, Glover praised the document for taking a more progressive approach and advocating on behalf of Palestinian positions, including on areas of common ground between the former secretary of state and the Vermont senator.

“I think what’s important is to say that the Democratic Party has introduced a platform that is progressive, it didn’t get everything, but it calls for a future for Palestinians that allows them to live with dignity and a state of their own, and it’s instructive and important for us to recognize that, and we have to build on that,” he said. “And that is something they both agree on.

“Certainly one of the things we want is peace in the region, and that the lives that have been destroyed by the conflicts in the region, whether they are Iraqi lives or Afghani lives or Syrian lives or Israeli lives or Palestinian lives,” he added. “We have to take this moment to build toward a lasting peace and a just peace.”

Without addressing foreign policy, Sanders attempted to draw his supporters into the Clinton coalition Monday evening, telling a national audience: “Any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” to a cascade of applause.

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