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Israel does not deserve another nickel, Bernie Sanders says

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, said Sunday that Israel does not deserve another nickel of American aid for its war in Gaza.

“Israel has broken international law. It has broken American law. And in my view, Israel should not be receiving another nickel in U.S. military aid,” Sanders said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

Sanders called the Hamas, which rules Gaza under Israeli occupation, a “disgusting terrorist organization” as he asserted that Palestinian militia started the war.

Hamas has previously said its October 7 attack was a response to the hundreds of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and illegal settlers in Palestine in 2023, as well as the raiding of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli Police earlier last year and the mass detention of Palestinians in Israel.

“Look, the facts are quite clear. Hamas is a terrible, disgusting terrorist organization that began this war. But what Israel has done over the last seven months is not just gone to war against Hamas, it has gone to war against the entire Palestinian people,” Sanders said.

“We’re talking about not just 35,000 Palestinians dead and 77,000 wounded — two-thirds of whom are women and children. That is not the way you conduct a war in a civilized society, to the degree that war is civilized.”

Sanders blasted Israel for destroying 60% of the housing in Gaza and decimating civilian infrastructure, including water and sewage and the destruction of hospitals.

“Every university in Gaza has been bombed. And right now, most frighteningly, according to the humanitarian organizations, we are looking at the likelihood of hundreds of thousands of children facing starvation,” Sanders said.

“The Foreign Assistance Act is very, very clear – 6201, the provision – any entity, any state, any country that blocks U.S. humanitarian aid is in violation of law and should not continue to receive military aid from the United States.”

Sanders suggested that Republican politicians and some Democrats want Israel to invade Rafah despite the urging of world governments not to do so because of the humanitarian disaster it would exacerbate.

“We are increasingly isolated in terms of our support for Israel, who is becoming a pariah nation,” Sanders said.

And responding to loaded questions from Kristen Welker asking if there is a non-military way to get rid of Hamas given that “their very goal is the destroy Israel’s existence,” Sanders said: “The goal is to defeat Hamas, but not to destroy or cause the enormous amount of destruction that we’re now seeing in Gaza.”

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Last modified: May 13, 2024