Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the United States approving additional aid to Israel for war with Hamas would be “irresponsible.”
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he sees a gap between Israel’s stated intent of limiting civilian casualties in reality, and the Secretary of Defense said they could face a strategic defeat, given civilian casualties. Is this vocal enough criticism from the administration, in your point of view?
SANDERS: Well, it’s a start- I think both Blinken and Austin are right. What the President is trying to do is trying to make clear to Netanyahu and his right-wing extremely- extremists government is yes, you can go to war against Hamas, but you cannot go to war against the Palestinian people, and cause the horrific damage to human life that we are seeing right now. Margaret, there have been 16,000 people killed so far. Palestinians, two thirds of whom are women and children. You’re talking about 1.9 million people displaced, going around without any water, food. Without any medical supplies. It is a humanitarian disaster. And the United States has got to put all of the pressure that it can to tell Netanyahu to stop this disastrous military approach.
BRENNAN: And just to be clear, Israel says it’s killed 7,000 militants, they haven’t explained how many civilians they estimate they’ve killed. The US says they can’t- can’t tally it. The number you cited there is from the Gaza Ministry of Health. But the bottom line here is I know you have been very clear to your colleagues, the US should not provide more aid to Israel, to the Netanyahu government with no strings attached, you wrote, because it would make the US complicit. You said “in an all out war against innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas.” What do you believe the Netanyahu government’s intent is here?
SANDERS: Hard to say. It really is hard to say. It may be that they’re responding in rage against the horrific and terrible Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 Innocent Israelis. Maybe in some of the right-wing extremists minds, there is the goal to drive the Palestinian people off of Gaza completely. But they have now destroyed about half of the housing units in Gaza. So it’s hard to predict. But I think when General Austin said you can win the battle but lose the war. Israel is losing the war in terms of how the world is looking at this situation. And I think that it would be irresponsible for the United States to give Netanyahu another $10 billion to continue to wage this awful war.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN