Senator Bernie Sanders Criticizes U.S. Aid to Israel in Senate Address

  • Naomi Dela Cruz
  • U.S.A
  • April 23, 2024

In a passionate and pointed address to the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders minced no words as he criticized the United States’ aid to Israel, particularly amidst the ongoing conflict in the region. His speech highlighted the urgent need for amendments to existing aid packages and a reevaluation of the Foreign Assistance Act.

Sanders began by emphasizing the necessity of multiple amendments, especially regarding the aid provided to Israel for what he described as “war-mongering efforts.” Despite his support for initiatives like the Iron Dome, Sanders underscored the importance of directing aid towards humanitarian efforts and establishing funds for UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees).

Central to Sanders’ address was the Foreign Assistance Act, a legal framework that he argued deserves significant attention. The Act, according to Sanders, unequivocally states that U.S. security assistance cannot be provided to any country that obstructs the delivery of humanitarian aid. Sanders questioned why Congress has consistently disregarded this law, despite its clear mandate.

The senator pointed out Israel’s violation of the Foreign Assistance Act, citing the severe limitations on humanitarian aid entering Gaza over the past six months. He painted a grim picture of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the region, with hundreds of thousands of children facing malnutrition and starvation as a result of these restrictions.

Sanders highlighted statements from Israeli leaders themselves, including the declaration of a “total siege” on Gaza by the Israeli defense minister at the outset of the conflict. Quoting the defense minister’s words, Sanders condemned the deliberate obstruction of essential services to Gaza, labeling it as a violation of both international law and basic human rights.

While acknowledging recent efforts by President Biden to address the issue, Sanders stressed that the aid provided thus far remains grossly insufficient given the scale of the crisis. He called for immediate action to enforce existing laws and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those in dire need, without political or ideological barriers.

In conclusion, Senator Sanders’ impassioned address served as a wake-up call to Congress and the Biden administration, urging them to uphold the principles of justice and humanitarianism in their foreign policy decisions. The senator’s words echoed a growing sentiment among lawmakers and activists, demanding accountability and action in the face of global crises.