Around New England

Bernie Sanders Says United States Should Give Aid To Gaza Strip

November 9, 2023

Amid the war that Hamas launched against Israel last month, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) thinks the United States should provide aid to the Gaza Strip.

Sanders reiterated his support for a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. However, he said that before that happens, there must be an end to bombing and humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip.

“The first step – right now – must be to stop the bombing and bring in as much humanitarian aid as possible. I think Secretary Blinken said it well and he said, ‘Providing immediate aid and protection for Palestinian civilians in the conflict is a necessary foundation for finding partners in Gaza who have a different vision for the future than Hamas – and who are willing to help make it real,’ ” Sanders said Wednesday, November 1 on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Sanders quoted U.S. Defense Secretary Anthony Blinken verbatim in his statement. 

On Monday, November 6, Sanders called for an immediate end to Israel’s bombing of Gaza, calling it “a humanitarian disaster.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself,” Sanders said during an interview with Dana Bush on CNN on Monday, November 6. “… But there gotta be a better way than killing thousands of men, women, and children.”

Sanders told CNN that Israel is right to try to oust Hamas, but that U.S. foreign aid to Israel ought to be contingent on how Israel acts in Gaza.

“Go after Hamas. But do not kill innocent men, women, and children,” Sanders said.

Bash played for Sanders a clip of a video released by U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) that includes a pro-Palestinian crowd chanting “From the river to the sea” — which is part of a longer chant that goes “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The “river” is the Jordan River. The “sea” is the Mediterranean Sea. In between, for the most part, is the modern State of Israel.

Critics of the chant interpret it to mean ending the State of Israel or even killing all Jews in the region.

Sanders described Tlaib as “a friend” and noted that she is Palestinian and has family in the region. (Both her parents were born in the Holy Land.)

Bash asked Sanders if Tlaib should stop using such slogans.

Sanders said:

“This is an enormously complex issue. And slogans like ‘the river to the sea,’ if that means the destruction of Israel, that’s not gonna work. People who are saying ‘Israel, right or wrong, we’re for you all the way’ — that’s not gonna work. This is a horrendously complex issue.”


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