Progressive Democrat Bernie Sanders has called for Congress to reject a Biden administration support package for U.S. allies, including what he describes as “unconditional military aid” for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
Sanders slams Netanyahu government
Progressive Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has repeated his criticism of the Israeli government’s military action in Gaza, issuing a statement calling on Congress to block the Biden administration’s request for additional funding of billions of dollars in military aid for Israel.
Biden pushes for support package
The Biden administration has asked for Congressional approval of an additional support package for U.S. allies, including Israel, which Sanders has characterized as “unconditional military aid” for Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to continue prosecuting their war.
War began with Hamas terrorist attack
“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,” Sanders said in his recent statement.
No more innocent casualties
“Enough is enough,” he added. “Congress must reject that funding. The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza.”
Large scale displacement
The war has killed more than 22,300 people in Gaza, according to local officials, and displaced 85 percent of the territory’s population. The war follows Hamas’s October 7th attack on Israel, which killed 1,200 people.
Bombardment stops aid from reaching civilians
Sanders warned that Israeli “bombardment has made it impossible for the U.N. and other aid groups to provide basic necessities to the 2.3 million people in Gaza. Some 1.3 million people are sheltering in 154 overcrowded U.N. facilities.”
Pushes for human rights investigation
The Vermont senator has been increasingly critical of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s rightwing government as Israeli military strikes in Gaza have continued. In December, Sanders introduced a resolution that called for the State Department to investigate potential human rights violations in Gaza.
Sanders slams veto
Sanders also recently condemned the U.S. veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution that demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The U.S. abstained from a vote on another U.N. resolution that called for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in the war.
Funding for defensive systems only
The progressive senator wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, arguing that the U.S. should not provide funding for Israel beyond what’s required for “defensive systems that will protect Israeli civilians against incoming missile and rocket attacks.”
No right to kill innocent
Explaining his decision to oppose a $111bn Democrat-backed funding bill over concerns about the money for Israel included in the proposal, Sanders said Israel does not “have the legal or moral right to kill thousands of innocent Palestinian men, women, and children.”
Hamas leader killed
Meanwhile, as the war continues, Israel is thought to have been behind a recent Beirut blast that killed Saleh al-Arouri, a top Hamas political leader. The blast has prompted fears that the conflict could spread beyond Gaza across the wider region.