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Senate shoots down Bernie Sanders’ ‘slanderous’ anti-Israel resolution

AIPAC praised the vote against the "dangerous" initiative.

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona, 2015. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking at a town meeting at the Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona, 2015. Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

The U.S. Senate rejected a resolution threatening to block all American security aid to Israel. The resolution, forced to the floor by Sen. Bernie Sanders, (I-Vt.), was voted down 72-11.

The resolution rejected on Tuesday would have required the U.S. State Department to produce a report within 30 days on whether Israel’s war effort complies with human rights law and international accords.

It tapped into a law that allows Congress to demand such a report from the State Department. If the resolution had passed, and a report not been provided within 30 days, aid to Israel would have been automatically cut off.

The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) praised the vote against the “slanderous and dangerous anti-Israel resolution.”

“We know Sanders and his allies will continue to try to undermine the U.S.-Israel relationship and isolate the Jewish state,” AIPAC said in a statement. “As Sanders said tonight on the Senate floor, ‘This will not be the end. … It is just the beginning.'”

AIPAC called for Congress to pass the $14.3 billion security aid package for Israel requested by President Joe Biden. “This aid is vital. With Israel under fire from virtually every front, we must ensure the Jewish state has the resources it needs to win this war and protect its families,” the group said.

On the Senate floor, Sanders claimed Israel’s attacks on terrorists were “largely indiscriminate.”

“This is a very modest, common-sense proposal, and frankly, hard for me to understand why anyone would oppose it,” he said.

“This is a tragedy in which we, the United States of America, are complicit,” he added. “Much of what is happening, much of the bombardment and the other actions we are seeing now is happening right now with U.S. arms and equipment.”

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke against the resolution.

Cardin said the reporting law “was never intended to be used against an ally during a war.”

Last month, on CBS News‘ “Face the Nation,” Sanders referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “right-wing extremist government” and the “horrific damage to human life” in the Gaza Strip.

“It is a humanitarian disaster, and the United States has got to put all of the pressure that it can to tell Netanyahu to stop this disastrous military approach,” he said.

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