Bernie Sanders, the progressive senator of Vermont, issued a statement Tuesday calling on Congress to block additional funding to Israel amid the war in Gaza, where more than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks after Hamas killed 1,200 people in Israel on 7 October.
“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.
“Enough is enough. 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.”
Sanders has grown increasingly critical of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing government as the military strikes in Gaza have continued. Last month, Sanders introduced a resolution calling on the state department to investigate any potential human rights violations in Gaza, and he also condemned the US veto of a UN security council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Days later, the US abstained from a vote on another UN resolution calling for “urgent and extended humanitarian pauses” in the war.
Sanders’ statement came as Congress considers Joe Biden’s request for $10bn in aid to Israel as part of a larger funding package meant to assist US allies, including Ukraine, and address border security. Last month, Sanders notably opposed a $111bn funding proposal backed by Democrats because of his concerns about the money for Israel included in the bill. [Continue reading…]