Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, has said that if elected president, he would consider moving the US embassy in Israel back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem.

But, Sen. Sanders, the Democratic frontrunner, did not commit to making the change during Tuesday night’s debate, the last one in February, in Charleston, South Carolina.

“The answer is it’s something we would take into consideration,” he said, when a journalist, noting that Sen Sanders would be the first-ever Jewish president, asked what he would say to American Jews who think he is not supportive enough of Israel.

The questioner also asked: “Specifically, sir, would you move the US embassy back to Tel Aviv?”

He said he was “very proud of being Jewish,” but also that “you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

Sanders, 78, who describes himself as a democratic socialist, went on to call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “a reactionary racist.”

“Here’s the point, I am very proud of being Jewish. I actually lived in Israel for some months. But what I happen to believe is that right now sadly, tragically in Israel through Bibi Netanyahu, you have a reactionary racist who is now running that country,” he added.

“We have got to have a policy that reaches out to the Palestinians and the Americans,” Sanders added.

Former New York Mayor Bloomberg, who is also seeking Democratic presidential nomination, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t move the embassy.

“You can’t move the embassy back,” Bloomberg, 78, said. “It was done, and you will have to leave it there.”

If either Bloomberg or Sanders are elected, they would be the first Jewish president in American history.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, also asked about the embassy, said moving it back wasn’t up to the US.

“We should let the parties determine the capitals themselves,” she said.

US President Donald Trump relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018, months after recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a decision which angered the Palestinians and many countries around the world.

On his part, Sanders has also taken clear positions in support of the struggle of Kashmiris and Palestinians for their unalienable rights.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in September last year, Sanders called India’s repressive actions in Jammu and Kashmir as “unacceptable”.

“The communications blockade must be lifted immediately and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international humanitarian law and in support of a UN-backed peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.”

Crucially, Sanders used the words “Kashmiri people,” a not-so-subtle signal that he accepts the existence of Kashmir as an independent political entity.

On Palestinian rights, Sanders has supported a two-state solution, emphasizing that “we must treat the Palestinian people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

Sanders’ campaign has several members from diverse communities and latest polls show he has been consistently expanding his support among African-Americans ad Hispanic American communities across the country. Faiz Shakir, a Pakistani-American, is Sanders campaign manager.

Seven candidates took part in the debate in which electability, foreign policy, gun control and racial justice were major topics. The candidates also sparred over Russian election interference, housing discrimination and each other’s legislative record.

Israeli FM Slams Bernie Sanders Over Jerusalem Comment, Calls for Withholding Support of Him

Sanders, who has been securing the leading position in the last rounds of the Democratic primaries, has been a staunch supporter of Palestinians' rights while criticising Donald Trump's decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognising it as the capital of the Jewish state.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz lashed out at Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders for making a "horrifying comment" on the possible reversal of the US Embassy's relocation to Jerusalem and calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "reactionary racist" during the latest round of primary debates. Katz went as far as to call on American voters to drop their support for Sanders, while at the same time, covering his bases to avoid possible accusations of foreign election meddling.

"We don't intervene in the internal American electoral process, which is splendid […] Naturally, people who support Israel will not support someone who goes against these things", Katz said while referring to Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and Sander's intentions to reverse it if he wins the presidential race in 2020.

The Israeli official stressed that there was no Jew in the world which "hadn't dreamed of Jerusalem", explaining his criticism of Sanders. 

The Vermont senator, who has already secured victories in several rounds of Democratic primaries and who is of Jewish descent himself, has long been known as a supporter of Palestinian rights. He has criticised Israel and those who support its current policies, namely the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Sanders has harshly condemned Trump's embassy move in the past, and argued that it would be detrimental to the US status as a broker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

His possible opponent in the 2020 presidential race, President Donald Trump, in turn, has tried to use the Jerusalem embassy move, as well as other pro-Israel diplomatic decisions, to his advantage, calling on American Jews to vote for his re-election.