The Algemeiner reports - “I worry that we are at a moment in which we are watching a future Palestinian state be obliterated by the pace of settlements, by the legalization of outposts,” Murphy said in an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson. “And I think the United States needs to draw a harder line with this government. If we’re going to continue to be in the business of supporting the Israeli government, they have to be in the continued business of a future Palestinian state. And that does not seem to be the policy of this government right now. So whether it’s conditionality of aid to Israel, whether it’s conditionality of visits to the United States, we have got to send a message that this assault on the two–state solution, in particular, is very bad for the US-Israel relationship in the long run.”
In December, the US provided some $3.3 billion in security assistance to Israel and an additional $500 million for cooperative missile defense programs like Iron Dome. Israel is the largest regular recipient of annual US aid, and under the 2016 memorandum of understanding between the two countries, Israel will continue to receive $3.8 billion from the US each year until 2028.
While that money is spent by Israel largely on buying US-made arms, including the F-35, and on defensive systems like Iron Dome, making that aid conditional on Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians has become a rallying cry of the progressive wing of the Democratic party.
Speaking in 2019 during the Democratic presidential primaries, then-candidate Joe Biden said it would be “absolutely outrageous” and a “gigantic mistake” to condition US aid to Israel on policy choices regarding the Palestinians. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), however, said during the race that “everything is on the table” if Israel appeared to be retreating from the two-state solution, while Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made it his position that military aid to Israel should be conditioned on Israeli humanitarian assistance to Gaza.
Sanders, however, said on Face the Nation on Feb. 19, that he was now considering introducing legislation conditioning US aid on Israel’s Palestinian policies.
“I am very worried about what Netanyahu is doing and some of his allies in government and what may happen to the Palestinian people,” Sanders said. “And let me tell you something, I haven’t said this publicly, but I think the United States gives billions of dollars in aid to Israel, and I think we’ve got to put some strings attached to that and say you cannot run a racist government. You cannot turn your back on a two-state solution. You cannot demean the Palestinian people there. You just can’t do it and then come to America and ask for money.”
Sanders added that he was “embarrassed” by the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and also accused AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups of trying to destroy the American progressive movement by supporting pro-Israel candidates in Democratic primaries.
Source - The Algemeiner/Twitter - Image - Reuters