May 14, 2018
Though many U.S. lawmakers chose to stay silent on Monday as Israeli forces massacred Palestinian protesters in Gaza, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was among those speaking out to condemn the violence--which Amnesty International warned may amount to "war crimes"--as he also called for the United States government to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, instead of sanctioning the intensification of it.
\u201cOver 50 killed in Gaza today and 2,000 wounded, on top of the 41 killed and more than 9,000 wounded over the past weeks. This is a staggering toll. Hamas violence does not justify Israel firing on unarmed protesters.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1526314774
\u201cThe United States must play an aggressive role in bringing Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the international community together to address Gaza\u2019s humanitarian crisis and stop this escalating violence.\u201d— Bernie Sanders (@Bernie Sanders) 1526314774
As of this writing, more than 52 people in Gaza reportedly killed and over a thousand injured by Israel's use of snipers and live fire. In response, Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, called Monday's violence "another horrific example of the Israeli military using excessive force and live ammunition in a totally deplorable way. This is a violation of international standards, in some instances committing what appear to be wilful killings constituting war crimes."
But while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was lambasted after issuing his support for Trump's decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Palestinian rights advocates slammed the move as a clear effort to sabotage all current hopes for ending the decades-long Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the ongoing blockade of Gaza.
Sanders was not completely alone in Congress with his condemnation, as Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) also spoke out against Trump's policy in the Middle East and the ongoing "occupation" and "oppression" of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government:
\u201cToday\u2019s @USEmbassyIsrael opening in Jerusalem & killing of dozens of Gaza protesters advances @netanyahu agenda of occupation & oppression of Palestinians. @realDonaldTrump policies are fueling conflict, abandoning diplomatic efforts to achieve peace. https://t.co/ec4v3iCHMT\u201d— Rep. Betty McCollum (@Rep. Betty McCollum) 1526305582
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) also spoke out, calling the attacks on Palestinians in Gaza "horrific":
\u201cThis is horrific. My prayers are with those killed & injured in Gaza.\n\nThe U.S. should be laying the groundwork for peace \u2013 not fueling conflict in the region with an unnecessary & counterproductive embassy move. https://t.co/tYV4jKYm02\u201d— Rep. Barbara Lee (@Rep. Barbara Lee) 1526311597
And Rep. Ro Khann, also from California, issued this statement via Twitter:
\u201c52 Palestinians killed, and Netanyahu describes it as a \u201cglorious day.\u201d Even the staunchest supporters of Israel would be appalled by the moral obtuseness of that statement. He has hurt Israel\u2019s case with American progressives more than any other Israeli leader in history.\u201d— Ro Khanna (@Ro Khanna) 1526329099
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