United States (QNN)- US presidential hopeful and Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday slammed Israel’s decision to ban Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank and told MSNBC that perhaps Israel should not be receiving billions of dollars in U.S. military aid after its decision against American lawmakers.
“I wish I could tell you…that I am shocked. I am not,” Sanders 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.”
“But 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,” Sanders said. “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.”
WATCH: Bernie Sanders on Israel’s decision to deny entrance to two elected U.S. officials: “If Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country…maybe they can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.” #inners pic.twitter.com/m48djEhZjU
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) August 16, 2019
The Muslim congresswomen, who are women of color and members of “the Squad” that Trump has feuded with in recent weeks, had planned to highlight the plight of Palestinians on their trip. They were barred over their support for the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Sanders also doubled down on his proposal to leverage financial aid the US. gives to Israel. “All that I am saying is that we need a Middle East policy which is even-handed, which protects the independence and the safety of Israel, but also shows respect to the Palestinian people, many of whom in Gaza and elsewhere are suffering incredibly,” he explained.