Ex-US presidential candidate wants no more aid to Benjamin Netanyahu’s “right-wing” government
Israel should not get $10 billion in “unconditional military aid” to wage a “brutal war” on the Palestinians in Gaza, US Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Tuesday. Sanders is a Democrat-allied Vermont independent who challenged Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination in 2016.
Sanders issued a similar statement last month, but said it would be appropriate to “support defense systems” that would help Israel defend from rocket and missile attacks. That qualification was entirely absent from Tuesday’s statement, however, which described what’s going on in Gaza as a “brutal war against the Palestinian people” by the “right-wing” government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
“While we recognize that Hamas’ barbaric terrorist attack began this war, we must also recognize that Israel’s military response has been grossly disproportionate, immoral, and in violation of international law,” said Sanders, noting that Israel is using “US bombs, artillery shells, and other forms of weaponry” against Gaza.
The senator pointed out that “over 22,000 Palestinians have been killed” and another 57,000 have been wounded by Israeli strikes since October 7, while about 70% of Gaza has been destroyed or damaged and 85% of its total population has been displaced already.
“This cannot be allowed to continue,” said Sanders, who is Jewish himself. “The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.”
His comments come as the US State Department denounced as “inflammatory and irresponsible” the statements by two key Netanyahu allies that called for the permanent displacement of the Palestinians living in Gaza.
Washington’s official policy calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state and for Gaza to be administered by the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu’s government has rejected both.
The White House included funding for Israel in the $106 billion national security emergency spending request in October, bundling it with over $60 billion in military aid for Ukraine and other issues. It has been repeatedly rejected by Republicans in both the House and the Senate. The House Republicans passed a separate $14 billion Israel aid bill, which the Senate Democrats then blocked.
Last week, the State Department approved a delivery of $147.5 million worth of 155mm artillery shells to Israel, bypassing Congressional approval by citing a national emergency.
January 03, 2024 at 08:06AM