Radical leftist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ripped Israel on Tuesday for committing what he described as “war crimes.” His diatribe continued when he compared retaliation against Hamas terrorists with Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The former Democratic White House contender spoke to the Center for International Policy.
During his statement, he linked Israel’s “terrible human rights” record with Communist China and the Iranian government — a well-known state sponsor of terrorism.
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Sanders complained about U.S. backing for Israel’s democracy. “Will you tell me how in God’s name can the United States condemn Russia’s indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Ukraine as a war crime, yet fund Netanyahu’s war machine which has killed thousands of children?”
The socialist called out Washington for criticizing authoritarian regimes in Iran and China.
Then he referenced support for Israel and the lobbying efforts of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Sanders sharply reversed course from comments after the Oct. 7 Hamas invasion of southern Israel that were praised by AIPAC.
Now he only sees Israel as the instigator.
Sanders in January attempted to throw a roadblock in the path of U.S. aid for Israel.
The senator introduced a resolution to force American assistance to be linked to supposed human rights issues with Palestinians. Even Democrats, who have factions that are vehemently anti-Israel, soundly rejected the proposal.
Sanders invoked a Foreign Assistance Act provision to mandate a vote on the resolution.
It would have required a report to Congress detailing whether Israel denied “the right to life” to West Bank and Gaza residents. It would examine the nation’s retaliation for terrorist attacks it suffered for alleged violations of humanitarian principles.
Failure by the State Department to produce the report within 30 days would trigger an immediate cessation of U.S. aid to Israel.
Blowback came from his own side of the political spectrum last month when Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) objected. The Democrat expressed concern for the plight of ordinary Palestinians but stopped far short of putting restrictions on U.S. assistance.
Coons said, “I do not, however, believe that risking the suspension of all U.S. assistance or publicly rebuking Israel in a way that could embolden its enemies will address these concerns.”