WASHINGTON: Bernie Sanders introduced a resolution in the US Senate on Thursday to block a $735 million weapons sale to Israel, mirroring a symbolic action by the House of Representatives in response to the situation in Gaza Strip.
“At a moment when US-made bombs are devastating Gaza, and killing women and children, we cannot simply let another huge arms sale go through without even a congressional debate,” said Sanders, an independent who votes with Democrats.
Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration approved the potential sale of $735m in weapons to Israel this year, and sent it to Congress for formal review.
The violence has prompted calls from some lawmakers for a more concerted US effort to stop the Israeli airstrikes that have killed dozens of civilians, most of them Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
Sanders, a former candidate for Democratic presidential nomination, said Americans need to take a “hard look” at whether the weapons sales fuel conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
His resolution follows a measure introduced by Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Rashida Tlaib, which has at least six other co-sponsors, including some of the most left-leaning Democrats in the House.
The measures were unlikely to pass in either the House or Senate, where bipartisan support for arms sales for Israel has traditionally been strong.
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2021