Washington (QNN)- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said some of the US$3.8 billion the occupation state receives from the United States in annual military assistance should go to humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip.
“Who is going to deny that when youth unemployment is 60 per cent, when people have no hope, when people cannot literally leave the region – who can think for a moment that you’re not laying the groundwork for continued violence?” he said.
Sanders earned cheers when he said his statement at the J Street’s annual conference. He also spoke of relatives killed in the Holocaust and their suffering before concluding that “if there is any people on earth who should do everything humanly possible.. it is the Jewish people.”
Rising from his seat on stage to give a campaign-style address, Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president, criticized Netanyahu’s racism.
“Let me underline this because it will be misunderstood – it is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist. It is a fact,” he said.
“We demand that the Israeli government sit down with the Palestinian people and negotiate an agreement that works for all parties,” he added.
Sanders said his message to Israel would be, “if you want military aid, you are going to have to fundamentally change your relationship” with the Palestinians.
Other Democratic frontrunners also expressed similar positions on the Palestinian cause.
Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, both appearing before J Street in video messages rather than in person, said they would oppose any action that closes the door on a Palestinian state.
“If Israel’s government continues with steps to formally annex the West Bank, the US should make clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation,” Warren said.
Warren said that she would reverse two key measures of Trump – by resuming aid to the UN refugee agency for Palestinians and allowing the Palestine Liberation Organization to unshutter its Washington office.