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Sanders pushes Biden to pick envoy to Israel who can also engage with Palestinians

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 25, 2021, examining wages at large profitable corporations. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listens during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington on February 25, 2021, examining wages at large profitable corporations. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

US Senator Bernie Sanders weighs in on the growing debate over who will be the next US ambassador to Israel.

“As President Biden considers his choice for Ambassador to Israel, I encourage him to choose someone who can represent our country in an even-handed way, and who can engage not only with Israel but with the Palestinians as well,” Sanders tweets.

“The role of the United States should be to bring the peoples of the region together, not simply to support a right-wing Israeli government.”

Sources familiar with the matter have told The Times of Israel that former State Department official Thomas Nides and former Florida congressman Robert Wexler are the top candidates for the job. Biden is expected to name his nominee in the coming weeks.

More progressive voices like Sanders have been critical of the idea that Nides could be the nominee, saying he does not have as much familiarity with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the parties involved.

A group of Democrats, led by Rep. Ted Deutch, have appealed to Biden to back Wexler.

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