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Sanders: Biden Must Stop Israel Aid After Netanyahu Vow to Nix Palestinian State

Netanyahu “has made his position clear: He will never allow a Palestinian state, ever,” Sanders emphasized.

Sen. Bernie Sanders talks with reporters after the senate luncheons in the U.S. Capitol on November 28, 2023.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has reiterated his call for the U.S. to stop providing military assistance to Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment last week that Israel should seize all control of what currently encompasses Palestine — seemingly an open call for the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Palestinians.

“In any future arrangement … Israel needs security control over all territory west of the Jordan,” Netanyahu said. “I told this truth to our friends, the Americans, and I also blocked the attempt to impose a reality that would harm Israel’s security,” he continued, according to a New York Times translation. “The prime minister needs to be able to say no, even to our best friends.”

In a statement released Saturday, Sanders said the comments were a clear show of Netanyahu’s goals as Israeli forces massacre and starve Palestinians in Gaza.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu is right — we do need to be able to say NO to our friends,” Sanders said. “He has made his position clear: He will never allow a Palestinian state, ever. He will continue his devastating war against innocent Palestinian men, women, and children. He will block the food, water, and medical supplies needed to prevent mass starvation and sickness.”

He went on to say that it’s time for President Joe Biden to reverse his staunch support of Israel’s genocidal assault, and called for Congress to reject any additional military funding.

“Despite the illegal and inhumane actions of Netanyahu’s government, President Biden has thus far offered unconditional support to Israel. That must change. President Biden must now loudly and clearly say NO to the policies of Netanyahu’s right-wing extremist government,” Sanders said. “If Netanyahu continues down the path of military domination, he must do so alone. The United States cannot be complicit.”

Indeed, Netanyahu continued to double down on Israel’s genocide in Gaza on Sunday when he rejected another deal for all of the Israeli hostages to be released in exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, saying that “we won’t be able to guarantee the safety of our citizens” if they accepted the deal — brushing aside the safety of the citizens being held captive who are currently being endangered by Israel’s relentless and indiscriminate bombing campaign in Gaza.

Historically, Israeli officials’ statements about supposedly guaranteeing the safety of Israel have been coded attempts to justify Israeli forces’ efforts to ethnically cleanse and violently oppress the Palestinian population, as advocates for Palestinian rights have pointed out.

But the Biden administration hasn’t budged on its position. Though Netanyahu was clear about Israel’s ultimate goal in its brutal campaign in Gaza and escalating violence in the West Bank, the White House said that it will still support Israel, even as U.S. officials back a two-state solution — a proposal that Israeli officials have rejected time and again in the past.

Sanders has been calling for fellow lawmakers to reject additional funding for Israel’s assault for months, and last week forced a vote in the Senate on a resolution that would have required the State Department to prepare a report on whether or not Israel has been committing war crimes in its massacre. The resolution was rejected 72 to 11, with the Senate rejecting even the notion that Congress and the public should be aware of whether Israel is committing human rights violations.

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