Sen. Bernie Sanders says aid to Israel should be conditional, citing the toll on Gaza

Sen. Bernie Sanders is recommending that the U.S. should make its aid to Israel conditional, citing the adverse impact on Gaza.

Key vote: The Senate stopped the progress of a bill that would provide aid to Ukraine and Israel by a 49 to 51 margin.
* Senator Sanders, along with Republicans, voted against advancing the bill. These Republicans were reportedly seeking to add their preferred border security and immigration measures.
* Sanders disagreed with the bill because he believes the U.S. should not freely give $10.1 billion to the “right-wing extremist Netanyahu government.”

Sanders’ stance: Bernie Sanders elaborated on his perspective, critiquing Israel’s response to the Palestinian people.
* Sanders highlighted the damage caused by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which resulted in approximately 16,000 Palestinians killed and another 1.8 million displaced from their homes in Gaza.
* Sanders would support giving Israel $4 billion to replenish its Iron Dome, but he emphasized the need for conditions on further U.S. aid to Israel.

Looking ahead: The future of financial support for Ukraine and Israel is a central question in Congress.
* The Biden administration asked Congress for nearly $106 billion in funding for Israel, Ukraine, countering China, and border security in October.
* There’s varying support for this package. A majority of Senate Democrats wrote a letter last month to President Biden requesting clarity on the intended use of U.S. military assistance and compliance with international law.
* After the failed Senate vote, Sanders expressed hope that Congress can rework the aid package quickly, emphasizing the urgency of humanitarian aid for Gaza and support for Ukraine and other democracies.

In related news: Sanders also addressed a recent hate crime in Vermont, where three Palestinian college students were shot.
* Sanders, a Vermont Senator, condemned the attack and highlighted the rising reports of antisemitic, Islamophobia, and anti-Palestinian incidents.
View original article on NPR
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