Sanders Introduces Bill to Stop Selling ‘Smart’ Weapons to Israel, Would Increase Civilian Deaths
Leftist senator wants Israel to defend itself with ‘dumb’ weapons against Hamas in Gaza; Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejects extremist move: “I support the arms sale.”
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill Thursday trying to force the United States to stop selling arms to Israel, a move that would likely result in an increase in Palestinian fatalities in future conflicts with terrorist groups in Gaza.
Both Israel and the Iran-backed terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad stopped shooting at each other early Friday, but Sanders put the entire blame on Israel for the latest round of hostilities initiated by Hamas when it launched a barrage of rockets at Jerusalem on May 10.
In the fighting against Hamas, Israel used advanced weapons systems and took extreme efforts to reduce the civilian deaths in Gaza. The Palestinians themselves acknowledged that Israel gave advanced warning to civilians to evacuate areas near Hamas military targets, dramatically reducing the civilians casualties.
In his comments, Sanders made no mention of Hamas policy of targeting Israeli civilians – recognized as a war crime under international law. In fact, the last and only time Sanders used the word “Hamas” in a single tweet was May 14, 2018, while tweeting a dozen times about Israel.
Sanders avoided talking about the iron-fisted Hamas rule over Gaza, where it seized control in a bloody 2007 military coup from the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmnoud Abbas, nor of Hamas’ policy of total rejection of the peace process and the two-state solution that Sanders and the Democratic Party endorse.
“I believe that the United States must help lead the way to a peaceful and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to take a hard look at whether the sale of these weapons is actually helping do that, or whether it is simply fueling conflict,” Sanders tweeted.
Sanders is going a huge step beyond trying to cut U.S. military aid to Israel. The Jewish State is paying for the advanced weapons that help it address the terrorist threats and reduce civilian casualties.
In Washington, the organization Democratic Majority For Israel issued a statement slamming Sanders resolution.
“If Israel is denied access to precision-guided weapons, it will be forced to defend itself using less accurate munition, resulting in more innocent lives lost and more collateral damage, causing more pain and suffering for everyone,” DMFI said. “Israel works hard to limit civilian casualties, but that is vastly more difficult without the precision guided munitions that these resolutions would deny to Israel.”
The arms sales, like American weapons sales to other countries, doesn’t cost U.S. taxpayers a cent, and a $735 million sale is actually a good boost for the US economy that has taken a severe hit during the pandemic.
But Sanders doesn’t get it. If Israel can no longer buy arms from America, then it will look elsewhere, and America’s much-needed influence – strengthened under the Trump administration – will be further debilitated.
Sanders wants to block Israel from defending itself with the best technology, meaning Israel would have to use less-effective weapons, which would increase Palestinian casualties, because everybody, including Democrats, acknowledge that the Iran-backed Hamas and Islamic Jihad are certain to attack Israeli civilians again.
How out of touch is Sanders? So much so that Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told an Arab newspaper that he is on the wrong path.
Pelosi told the United Arab Emirates paper The National on Thursday that she supports the $735 million sale of precision-guided bombs to Israel despite attempts by progressive Democrats to nix the deal.
“I support the arms sale,” Pelosi said, endorsing the sale on the same day Sanders introduced a Senate bill seeking to block it.
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