Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently called on Congress to halt a proposed $10 billion military funding for Israel, citing the government’s conduct in the Gaza war as “immoral”.
What Happened: Sanders voiced concerns about the funding contributing to Israel’s “grossly disproportionate” and “immoral” warfare in Gaza. This comes in the wake of Israel’s response to the killing of more than 1,200 of its civilians by Palestinian militants on Oct. 7, reported The Hill.
“While we recognize that Hamas’ barbaric attack began this war, we must also recognize that Israel’s military response has been grossly disproportionate, immoral, and in violation of international law,” said Sanders, according to the report.
The Vermont senator argued that the United States must take responsibility for its part in the conflict, given that a large part of it has been waged using U.S.-supplied weapons. He noted that over 22,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the conflict, including a majority of women and children.
Sanders underscored the displacement of 85% of Gaza’s populace, with an estimated 57,000 Palestinian civilians wounded. He called on Congress to reject the proposed military aid for Israel, which is part of an emergency foreign aid package.
Previously, Sanders, who is an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats, voted against a $110 billion emergency foreign aid package last month, which included funds for Israel. This followed a similar call from him on Dec. 4, where he urged Congress to withhold $10 billion from Israel, claiming it would be used to finance the invasion of Gaza.
In a letter to President Joe Biden on Dec. 12, Sanders termed Israel’s military response in Gaza as a “mass atrocity,” arguing against any further military aid beyond defensive systems. He warned that this phase of the military campaign will be remembered as one of the darkest.
Why It Matters: Sanders’ latest stance on the proposed funding underscores his consistent opposition to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.
His recent call aligns with his previous opposition to emergency military aid for Israel. In December, Sanders expressed his disapproval of the proposed emergency military aid for Israel, labeling the actions of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “immoral” and “in violation of international law.”
Earlier in November, Sanders had called for a change in Israeli leadership amid the ongoing war with Hamas. He criticized Netanyahu’s handling of the Palestinian issue and hoped for his replacement.
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