Sanders says Americans don’t ‘want to be complicit’ in ‘starvation’ in Gaza

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doubled down Sunday on his opposition to further U.S. aid to Israel, suggesting Americans do not want to be “complicit” in the starvation of children in Gaza.

“Look, every Republican, as I understand it, wants to give huge amounts of money to Israel,” Sanders said during an interview on “Meet the Press,” NBC News’s Sunday show. “My guess is that many Republicans want Israel to go into Rafah, despite the incredible humanitarian destruction that will cause, and there are Democrats who also feel that way.”

“But this is what I will tell you. … That is not what the American people feel. Poll after poll suggests that the American people want an immediate cease-fire. They want massive humanitarian aid to get in,” he continued. “The people of our country do not want to be complicit in the starvation of hundreds of thousands of children.”

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, has repeatedly called for a stop to U.S. aid to Israel amid the civilian death toll and depleting humanitarian resources in Gaza, where than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since Hamas’s Oct. 7 attacks.

Polls have varied in their indications of Americans’ sentiment over the war. In a poll last month, nearly one-third of Americans said Israel has gone too far in Gaza, while another poll released in recent weeks found an overwhelming majority of Americans support Israel in its war against Hamas.

About 1,200 people were killed in Israel on Oct. 7, while about 250 others were taken hostage by Hamas and brought to Gaza.

The war between Israel and Hamas has raged on for more than seven months and has prompted a severe depletion of food, water, medicine and other resources amid the violence. World Food Program (WFP) Director Cindy McCain said earlier this month that there is a “full-blown famine” in northern Gaza.

According to a WFP report released in March, about 1.1 million in Gaza have completely exhausted their food supplies and are facing catastrophic hunger and starvation.

Congress last month passed a massive foreign aid package that included $26 billion for Israel and global humanitarian aid, including for Gaza. Sanders voted against the package, pointing to the “8.9 billion in unfettered military aid” to allow Israel to wage an “unprecedented assault against the Palestinian people.”

“But the reality is, as I think any objective observer knows, Israel has broken international law. It has broken American law. And in my view, Israel should not be receiving another nickel in U.S. military aid,” Sanders said Sunday.

“Look, the facts are quite clear. Hamas is a terrible, disgusting terrorist organization that began this war. But what Israel has done over the last seven months is not just gone to war against Hamas — it has gone to war against the entire Palestinian people,” he continued.

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