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Sanders Moves to Block Funding for Israeli Weapons as Aid Bill Looms

“Twenty-seven thousand dead — two-thirds of them women and children,” said the senator. “This is unacceptable.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders presides over a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on unions on November 14, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

Calling on the United States to “end its complicity in the nightmare unfolding in Gaza,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday said he would introduce an amendment to remove more than $10 billion from the foreign aid supplemental requested by President Joe Biden.

The $10.1 billion has been proposed to pay for offensive weaponry funding for the Israeli government, which has killed at least 27,131 Palestinians in Gaza so far—including at least 11,500 children—and displaced 1.9 million.

“Twenty-seven thousand dead—two-thirds of them women and children,” said the Vermont Independent. “Sixty-seven thousand wounded… 70% of housing units damaged or destroyed. And now, hundreds of thousands of children facing starvation.”

“This is unacceptable,” added Sanders. “The United States cannot be complicit in this humanitarian disaster. That is why I will be offering an amendment to the supplemental bill to ensure zero funding for the continuation of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s illegal, immoral war against the Palestinian people.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) indicated Thursday that lawmakers are close to finalizing the text of the national security supplemental, which also includes funding for Ukraine and security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Schumer said he would file cloture on a motion to proceed with the supplemental on Monday, “leading to the first vote on the national security supplemental no later than Wednesday.”

Politico congressional reporter Burgess Everett said Sanders’ amendment “will spark debate” but has little chance of passing.

Despite the International Court of Justice’s finding last month that it is “plausible” that Israel is committing a genocide in Gaza and Americans’ growing opposition to the U.S. government’s support for Israel, the majority of federal lawmakers continue to claim that Israel is only acting in self-defense against Hamas as it bombards Gaza.

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