Bernie Sanders to J Street: Give Some of Israel’s Aid to Hamas-run Gaza

Bernie Sanders and J Street (Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty)
Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) told the far-left J Street organization on Monday that the U.S. should give some of its annual $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel to Palestinian Hamas-run Gaza instead.

The Times of Israel reported:

“My solution is, to Israel, if you want military aid you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza,” [Sanders] said. “I would say that some of the $3.8 billion should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

“My proposal in terms of Israeli-Palestinian efforts is not a radical proposal,” he went on. “All it says is that we need an even-hand proposal for both people. What is going on in Gaza right now, for example, is absolutely inhumane. It is unacceptable. It is unsustainable.”

Sanders did not explain how he would ensure that money for humanitarian uses was not spent on terrorism.

Hamas has been run by the terrorist Hamas group since a coup against the Palestinian Authority in 2007 (which itself has not had a democratic election since 2005). Since then, Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip have launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians — often attacking from densely-populated civilian areas. Hamas also indoctrinates Palestinian children to hate Israelis and Jews. Israel permits humanitarian aid to reach Gaza but restricts the flow of goods, since the terror group — which has used child slave labor to build underground tunnels aimed at smuggling into Egypt or conducting attacks in Israel — uses civilian goods for terrorist purposes.

Sanders, like almost every other candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, skipped the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which pushes for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. In contrast, J Stret often opposes Israel — including most of its military actions in self-defense — and wants the U.S. to pressure Israel for concessions to Palestinians, despite the fact that Palestinian leaders continue to support terrorism.

Earlier this year, Sanders suggested that he might move the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem back to Tel Aviv if elected. Sanders has been endorsed by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who back boycotts of Israel.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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