Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday that Israel needs to “end the bombing” if it wants to receive aid from the U.S. to fund the war.
Sanders condemned the “extreme right-wing” Israeli government for the killings and brutality against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. He did not express a definite answer on whether he will vote in favor of the House Republican-backed bill to fund $14.3 billion to Israel to help the nation defend itself against Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization
“We’ll see what the bill looks like. But it is terribly important that as we debate that we say to Israel, you want this money, you gotta change your military strategy,” Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The other point is we have to give hope to the Palestinian people. They were living in, before Oct. 7, in a disastrous situation in Gaza. Seventy-five percent youth unemployment, massive poverty. And right now in Israel, you’re having the Netanyahu government, an extreme right-wing government, with racists aboard, trying to make it impossible for a two-state solution in the West Bank, they’re killing settlers there.”
Sanders called on a “two-state solution” and for Israel, Qatar and other wealthy nations in the Middle East to provide “some hope, decency and freedom” to the Palestinians.
The House passed the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2024 with a 226-196 vote Thursday. The legislation, which is opposed by most Democrats, intends to redistribute funds from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to replace equipment provided to Israel as military aid and fund research for new air defense systems being provided to Israel. (RELATED: ‘Trying To Change How Washington Works’: Speaker Johnson Responds To Criticism Over Israel Funding Bill)
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the bill of not being a “serious bill” and of politicizing aid to Israel. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he opposes the legislation for lacking any funding toward Ukraine or Taiwan. The White House intends to veto the bill if it reaches President Joe Biden’s desk for providing no aid to the other two nations.
The Vermont senator said he opposes a ceasefire in the region and supported Israel’s right to defend itself. He said a ceasefire, which many far-left citizens and some members of Congress have called for, would allow Hamas to carry out another attack on Israel as the terror group aims to destroy the country.
“I think what the Arab countries in the region understand — that Hamas has got to go,” Sanders said. “So, what we need right now, the immediate task right now, is to end the bombing, to end the horrific humanitarian disaster, to build, go forward with the entire world for a two-tiered, two-state solution to the crisis to give the Palestinian people hope.”