Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a Senate hearing

U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks during a November 14, 2023 hearing in Washington, D.C.

(Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Sanders Says No More US Money for 'Grossly Disproportionate' Israeli War on Gaza

"The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza."

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government another $10 billion in unconditional aid to continue waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip.

In a statement echoing his remarks on the Senate floor and a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden last month, Sanders (I-Vt.) argued that "the issue we face with Israel-Gaza is not complicated. While we recognize that Hamas' barbaric terrorist attack began this war, we must also recognize that Israel's military response has been grossly disproportionate, immoral, and in violation of international law."

"And, most importantly for Americans, we must understand that Israel's war against the Palestinian people has been significantly waged with U.S. bombs, artillery shells, and other forms of weaponry," he continued. "And the results have been catastrophic."

Sanders—who briefly lived in Israel in the 1960s and has said that he is "proud to be Jewish" but "not actively involved in organized religion"—has been criticized by many progressives for refusing to call for a cease-fire in Gaza. However, he has also been vocally opposed to Netanyahu's far-right government and the mass killing of Palestinian civilians by Israeli forces.

The senator noted Tuesday that since Hamas led the October 7 attack on Israel, Israeli forces have killed over 22,000 Palestinians in Gaza—the majority of them women and children—and injured another 57,000, according to local officials. Legal scholars and other critics around the world have increasingly accused Israel of genocide, including at the International Court of Justice.

The Israeli assault has devastated civilian infrastructure, displacing about 90% of Gaza's 2.3 million residents. Roughly 70% of homes have been damaged or destroyed, and many hospitals have had to shut down. Disease and hunger are rapidly spreading.

As Sanders highlighted, Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, toldThe New York Times on Monday that the worsening humanitarian disaster in the besieged enclave was historically horrific, with 20% of the population facing an extreme lack of food.

"I've been doing this for about 20 years," said Husain. "I've been to pretty much any conflict, whether Yemen, whether it was South Sudan, northeast Nigeria, Ethiopia, you name it. And I have never seen anything like this, both in terms of its scale, its magnitude, but also at the pace that this has unfolded."

As Israeli forces have killed civilians in Gaza with American weaponry amid mounting fears of a broader regional conflict, Biden has pushed for a $14.3 billion package for Israel that includes $10.6 billion for assistance through the Pentagon, $3.5 billion for foreign military financing, and $200 million to help protect U.S. embassies and personnel.

"Congress is working to pass a supplemental funding bill that includes $10 billion of unconditional military aid for the right-wing Netanyahu government to continue its brutal war against the Palestinian people," Sanders said Tuesday. "Enough is enough."

"Congress must reject that funding," the senator asserted. "The taxpayers of the United States must no longer be complicit in destroying the lives of innocent men, women, and children in Gaza."

Join Us: News for people demanding a better world

Common Dreams is powered by optimists who believe in the power of informed and engaged citizens to ignite and enact change to make the world a better place.

We're hundreds of thousands strong, but every single supporter makes the difference.

Your contribution supports this bold media model—free, independent, and dedicated to reporting the facts every day. Stand with us in the fight for economic equality, social justice, human rights, and a more sustainable future. As a people-powered nonprofit news outlet, we cover the issues the corporate media never will. Join with us today!

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.