Of Democratic contenders, only Biden opposes cutting military aid to Israel

After Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said that Israel’s defense aid should “go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza” and be used as leverage against Israel, former VP Biden called the idea “outrageous.”



Washington – Former Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful, Joe Biden, sharply criticized some of his fellow candidates for offering to use military aid to Israel as leverage, and called the idea “outrageous.”

After Sen. Bernie Sanders claimed the United States is “complicit” in so-called Israeli ‘occupation’ and should rethink U.S. military aid to the Jewish state, Sharia Law advocate Linda Sarsour announced her support for Sanders’ bid for presidency. – Photo/ AP,Mary Altaffer

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said on Monday that the aid could be used as leverage on the Israeli government. “I would use the leverage of 3.8 billion dollars – it is a lot of money – and we cannot give it ‘carte blanche’ to the Israeli government or for that matter to any government at all, we have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.”

Speaking at J Street’s annual conference in Washington, he added that “some of that $3.8 billion should go right now into humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and presidential hopeful, Pete Buttigieg, addressed the issue as well, saying that the US has mechanisms to ensure that US taxpayer support to Israel “does not get turned into US taxpayer support for a move like annexation.”


When asked if he would also try to put pressure on Israel to change its settlements through cutting US military assistance Biden told the Wall Street Journal that he won’t be the person to do such a thing. “Not me,” was his reply.

“I have been on record from very early on opposed to the settlements, and I think it’s a mistake, he clarified. “And [Prime Minister] Netanyahu knows my position. But the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find to be absolutely outrageous.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden- Photo: Michael Stokes, Wikimedia

“Anyway, no, I would not condition it, and I think it’s a gigantic mistake. And I hope some of my candidates who are running with me for the nomination; I hope they misspoke, or they were taken out of context.”


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