Sanders says if Israel wants to ban members of Congress, it should not receive billions in US military aid

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) speaks to the crowd during the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (photo: Sean Rayford / Getty Images)
Sanders raises concern about U.S. military support to Israel.

By Jake Johnson |  Common Dreams  | Aug 16, 2019

‘The idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation which, by the way, we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars is clearly an outrage.’

Sen. Bernie Sanders told MSNBC Thursday night that perhaps Israel should not be receiving billions of dollars in U.S. military aid after the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from entering the country.

“I wish I could tell you…that I am shocked. I am not,” Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said of President Donald Trump’s support for Israel’s decision. “We have a president who, tragically, is a racist, is a xenophobe, and who is a religious bigot.”

On Friday morning, the New York Times reported that Israel will allow Tlaib to visit her 90-year-old grandmother who lives in the occupied West Bank. Israel did not change its position on Omar.

Sanders said Thursday that “the idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation which, by the way, we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars is clearly an outrage.”

“And if Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country to get a firsthand look at what’s going on—and I’ve been there many, many times—but if he doesn’t want members to visit, maybe [Netanyahu] can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel,” Sanders added.

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