A top Senate progressive’s call to condition aid to Israel on a drawdown of the war in Gaza sparked a fierce backlash from pro-Israel Democrats.
“The U.S. provides $3.8 billion a year in aid to Israel and the Biden administration wants $14.3 billion more,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said in a statement Saturday.
” Israel’s government must understand that not one penny will be coming to Israel from the U.S. unless there is a fundamental change in their military and political positions,” he added.
Sanders’ proposed demands on Israel include a “significant pause in military operations” in Gaza, no long-term “re-occupation or blockade” of Gaza, an end to settler violence in the West Bank and a commitment to “broad peace talks for a two-state solution in the wake of the war.”
The House passed a $14.3 billion military assistance package to Israel earlier this month, but it has languished in the Senate.
Senate Republicans mounted a surprise push to force a vote on the measure last week, but Democrats voted along party lines to kill the effort.
Sanders is not likely to stand alone in the left-wing push to condition aid. House and Senate progressives have been engaged in “preliminary” ongoing discussions about conditioning aid, an aide familiar with the matter told Axios.