In a bold statement on the Senate floor, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders voiced his opposition to providing Israel with $10 billion in aid for its ongoing conflict with Hamas. Sanders, a prominent Socialist, argued against supporting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government.
“I am strongly convinced that allocating more than $10 billion to support the Netanyahu government’s right-wing extremist stance and its ongoing military strategy is not in the best interests of the United States,” passionately declared Sanders. Having consistently criticized Netanyahu, Sanders did not mince words in his address, denouncing the Israeli government’s actions as “immoral” and “contrary to international law.” He firmly holds the view that the United States should not be complicit in such behavior.
However, Sanders did acknowledge the importance of supporting defense systems, particularly the Iron Dome, to protect Israeli citizens from rocket attacks. He stated that the U.S. would be responsible for continuing to support these measures but expressed concerns about providing unconditional military aid to the Netanyahu government.
Furthermore, Sanders emphasized that Israel’s approach to the war has been “offensive to most Americans” and called for a change in their conduct.
Sanders, known for his stance against excessive military spending, is also against allocating funds for military purposes in this context.
Meanwhile, as negotiations for the release of hostages have reached a deadlock, Israel has escalated its military operations in Gaza, explicitly targeting Hamas’ stronghold in Khan Younis.
The situation in Gaza remains dire, with the Palestinian health minister reporting nearly 16,000 deaths and close to 1.9 million people displaced. These numbers reflect the ongoing toll of the conflict, which was exacerbated by a terrorist attack by Hamas that claimed the lives of 1,200 people on October 7th, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Currently, 137 hostages are still held in Gaza, according to Israel’s latest report.
Sanders’ opposition to providing substantial aid to Israel in this conflict highlights the need for a reevaluation of U.S. foreign policy and the importance of considering the ramifications of such financial support. As the conflict continues to escalate, Sanders’ stance sparks a debate about the role of the United States in international conflicts and the ethical considerations that should guide its decisions.