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Bernie Sanders: No More Funding for Netanyahu’s War Machine


Outside the Senate chambers, moments after delivering a passionate floor speech, Senator Bernie Sanders expressed his candid thoughts on US aid to Israel in an interview with The Independent.

“My objective is to cut off the funding for Netanyahu’s military operations, without a doubt,” stated Mr. Sanders in an interview with The Independent.

The senator from Vermont, who is known for his independent stance, is against providing unconditional aid to Israel.

“The actions of the Netanyahu government are deeply troubling,” expressed Mr. Sanders during a Senate floor speech in December 2023. “It goes against international law, and the United States should not be involved in supporting such actions,” he stated.

Mr. Sanders’ recent remarks follow President Joe Biden’s release of a memorandum outlining aid conditions for foreign countries on Thursday.

According to the memo, the Secretary of State is required to secure written assurances from foreign governments that are receiving defense articles and services, ensuring their credibility and reliability.

Furthermore, it is the duty of the Secretaries of State and Defense to ensure that all transfers of defense articles and defense services adhere to both international and domestic law.

According to Mr. Sanders, the memo is a significant advancement, although it may not yield the desired results for Israel. Meanwhile, Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff described the move as significant.

According to him, foreign governments receiving US security assistance will now be required to provide written proof of their compliance with international law, marking a significant change.

Ossoff: Executive Branch Must Report to Uphold US Moral Credibility

US Democratic Senator from Georgia Jon Ossoff arrives at a tribute service for former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter at Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 28, 2023.

Mr. Ossoff informed The Independent that the Executive branch will need to provide reports to Congress and the public regarding their compliance. “It’s a matter of the US’ moral credibility.”

The Leahy Law, named after former senator Patrick Leahy, consists of two statutory provisions. It serves as a restriction on the federal government, prohibiting the use of funds to support foreign governments that are believed to have engaged in “gross violations of human rights” based on credible information.

According to Mr. Ossoff, there is a distinction between the Leahy Law and Mr. Biden’s memo as it is applied on a “unit-by-unit basis.”

Alongside his memo, Mr. Biden criticized the Israeli government’s military action in Gaza as excessive during a press conference on Thursday night, where he discussed the Special Counsel report on his classified documents case.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, the number of Palestinian casualties from Israel’s offensive is over 27,000. The four-month-long offensive started following a surprise attack on Israel by Hamas militants on 7 October.

There have been significant casualties in Israel and a number of individuals have been taken captive and transported to Gaza. Before the memo, 19 senators had voiced their backing for an amendment to the bipartisan security bill.

This bill is currently being debated by the US Senate and aims to make foreign aid conditional on recipients adhering to international law. As of Friday afternoon, the Senate is currently engaged in a 30-hour debate period on the bipartisan immigration bill.

The bill was negotiated by Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, who played a key role in advocating for the amendment, expressed satisfaction with Mr. Biden’s memo, stating that it fulfills their requests.

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