The United States (QNN)- Bernie Sanders has said the United States could leverage billions of dollars in aid to Israel to get it to change some of its policies.
Sanders, a fierce critic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently working to form a right-wing governing coalition, said the leverage could be used to shift Israeli policies and craft a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is amenable to both parties.
“The goal of the United States has got to be is to bring people in the region together, the Palestinians and the Israelis, to create a kind of workable peace which works for both parties, not just one,” Sanders said Tuesday in New Hampshire.
“The United States government gives a whole lot of money to Israel, and I think we can leverage that money to end some of the racism that we have recently seen in Israel.”
Support for Israel has been a linchpin of US policies in the Middle East for decades, with both major political parties in the United States providing near-unequivocal backing to the Israeli government.
But in recent years, more progressive members of the Democratic Party have voiced their opposition to Israeli human rights abuses against Palestinians while also calling for Washington to hold Israel accountable for its destructive policies.
The U.S. and Israel inked an agreement in 2016 that would send $38 billion in military aid to Jerusalem over a 10-year span, the largest such aid package in U.S. history. Activists have long decried the agreement, saying taxpayer dollars should not be helping fund Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and or its blockade of the Gaza Strip.