October 30, 2019
News Press Release

ZOA Condemns Sanders’ Insane Demand: Give US military Aid to Israel to Hamas’ Gaza

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters on the night of the Michigan, Mississippi and other primaries at his campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 8, 2016. (Reuters)

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (D–VT) for declaring that current US military defense aid to Israel should be reduced and give the money instead to Hamas’ Gaza. 

Addressing the extremist anti-Israel organization J Street, Senator Sanders stated, “My solution is, to Israel, if you want military aid you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza … I would use the leverage of $3.8 billion [the annual amount earmarked for Israel under the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel concluded by President Barack Obama]. It is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government, or for that matter, to any government at all. We have a right to demand respect for human rights and democracy. I would say that some of the $3.8 billion should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza. My proposal in terms of Israeli-Palestinian efforts is not a radical proposal … All it says is that we need an even-hand proposal for both people. What is going on in Gaza right now, for example, is absolutely inhumane. It is unacceptable. It is unsustainable.”

Sanders also attacked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arguing that, “It is not anti-Semitism to say that the Netanyahu government has been racist, that’s a fact.” Senator Sanders did not condemn the pro-terror, anti-peace statements and deeds of Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Hamas regime in Gaza, such as they’re paying Arabs to murder Jews beyond, noting that both suffered from “corruption.” “It is not only Netanyahu’s government that has been a problem; let’s recognize there has been corruption in terms of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority” (Jackson Richman, ‘Sanders says portion of Israel’s military aid should go “right now” to Gaza,’ Jewish News Syndicate, October 28, 2019).

“Senator Sanders’ outrageous and false statements about Israel show him to be either hateful toward the Jewish State, supportive of terrorist regimes, or utterly biased or completely ignorant of the realities of the Arab Islamic war against Israel.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein and Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. said, “Senator Sanders’ outrageous and false statements about Israel show him to be either hateful toward the Jewish State, supportive of terrorist regimes, or utterly biased or completely ignorant of the realities of the Arab Islamic war against Israel. 

“Senator Sanders should know that the US benefits mightily from the military assistance it provides Israel and that almost all of it is spent in the US. Almost invariably, Israel improves American weapons systems and shares its innovations with the US, which also amounts to a major source of revenue for the US defense industry. 

“Israel’s improving systems and consequent military cooperation and intelligence-sharing has been of enormous value to the US, which, unlike the situation with some other US allies, has never had to deploy a single serviceman or woman to defend it.

“Senator Sanders also seems ignorant of the fact that US military aid to Israel is an essential component in preserving the US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, which in turn has prevented large-scale wars. 

“Yet Senator Sanders seems willing to increase the prospect of war by harming Israel’s military capabilities. He also seems to care nothing –– or know nothing –– of the fact that years of the highest per capita aid in the world for the PA for the last two and half decades has gone into building up terrorist groups and importing illegal weaponry. Thousands of Israelis have been killed and maimed by Palestinian Arab terrorists abetted, funded or otherwise supported or protected by Abbas’ PA and Hamas. 

“Senator Sanders also believes that Israel is somehow in the wrong when it comes to Gaza. Israel withdrew unilaterally from every square inch of Gaza in 2005, removing every last living and dead Israel from the territory, only to face the take-over of the territory by the jihadist Hamas terrorist group and 25,000 missile attacks, construction of terror tunnels for the purpose of launching mass-casualty terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, and other forms of unprovoked terrorism in return, not to mention three major Gaza wars. 

“Instead of acknowledging that Israel has sought peace with Gaza, Senator Sanders pretends Israel is in the wrong and that the suffering in Gaza is a result of Israeli rather than Hamas policy and foreshadows that he would penalize Israel were he to become president.

“Whatever else this is, this is certainly not even-handedness.

“Senator Sanders shows no interest, or even knowledge, of what happens inside Hamas-controlled Gaza, a territory in which Palestinian Arab children are relentlessly inculcated with hatred and incited to murder Jews as a supreme national and religious duty. Senator Sanders says nothing of this –– but accuses the Netanyahu government of racism!

“Israel has offered statehood to the Palestinians three times in the last 19 years only to be rejected. Abbas has refused to negotiate for the last ten years. Israel is not only a democracy for all its citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish, but has for years taken in Syrian refugees and extended medical care to Palestinian Arabs from the PA, despite being under no obligation to do so. Gays from the PA have successfully sought refuge and safety in Israel, the one country in the region that doesn’t persecute or kill them. This is racism?

“Senator Sanders deserves the strongest condemnation from all who value morality and truth and the US-Israel relationship for his inexcusable and dangerous bias and ignorance, and possibly even hatred of the Jewish State, as well as his support for the terrorist regimes of Abbas and Hamas.

“Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Sanders has hired two bitterly anti-Semitic Israelophobic staffers to his campaign including the hateful bigot Linda Sarsour. And no wonder the two biggest Israelophobic anti-Semites in Congress Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) have endorsed Sanders for President.”