Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., (AP /Paul Sancya) AP /Paul Sancya

All three Democratic presidential candidates expressed their desire to use U.S. aid to Israel as leverage to dictate the Jewish state’s domestic policy.

By United with Israel Staff

A united group of more than 50 Jewish organizations has condemned Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizebeth Warren, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s steadfast stance on using U.S. military aid to Israel as a means of leverage in negotiations.

“We are deeply troubled by recent statements that would place conditions, limitations, or restrictions on the US security assistance provided to Israel, so vital for the defense and security of the country, the protection of essential US interests, and stability in the region,” a statement by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations said.

“Adoption of this suggested approach would reward those who are the true obstacles to progress towards peace, engage in terrorism, and deprive the Palestinians in Gaza and [Judea and Samaria] of the opportunities for a better life,” the statement added.

At J Street’s National Conference last month, all three presidential candidates expressed their desire to use U.S. aid to Israel as leverage if needed.

In a video statement, Warren said “If Israel’s government continues with steps to formally annex [Judea and Samaria], the United States should make it clear that none of our aid should be used to support annexation.”

This is not the first time that Warren shared this stance.

At a town hall meeting in Iowa last month, Warren was asked if she would make U.S. aid to the Jewish state conditional on Israel’s halting construction in Judea and Samaria.

“Everything’s on the table,” she answered.

Buttigieg said at the conference that he would ensure that U.S. assistance to Israel is not used for settlement expansion or annexation.

“We need to make sure that any such cooperation and funding is going to things that are compatible with US objectives and US law,” Buttigieg said. “If we continue to see steps that are potentially destructive, I think it is a reminder that we need to have the visibility to know whether US funds are being used in a way that’s actually not compatible with US policy.”

However, Sanders was much more direct about the idea than the other presidential candidates, suggesting that not only should the aid be used as leverage, but part it should “go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza,” a coastal enclave ruled by the Hamas terror group, which diverts massive amounts of foreign aid to fund indiscriminate attacks Israeli civilians as part of its plan to destroy the Jewish state.

“My proposal in terms of Israeli-Palestinian efforts is not a radical proposal,” said Sanders.

Fifty major Jewish groups, however, do not agree with the senator from Vermont’s conclusion on that matter.



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