In the latest issue to fracture the party, Democrats are feuding with each other over whether conditions should be placed on Israel when President Joe Biden's $14.3 billion aid request comes before lawmakers in the coming weeks.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a progressive independent who caucuses with Democrats, has been active over the past week spouting demands to be placed on Israel in order to approve the aid package. Sanders wrote of six demands by which Israel must abide in a New York Times op-ed on Wednesday, including a "significant pause" in military action.
"The United States must make clear that while we are friends of Israel, there are conditions to that friendship and that we cannot be complicit in actions that violate international law and our own sense of decency," Sanders wrote.
That came days after Sanders posted to X, saying that the “Israeli government, must understand that not one penny will be coming to Israel from the U.S. unless there is a fundamental change in their military and political positions.”
Democrats aren't buying it.
"Any legislation that conditions security aid to our key democratic ally, Israel, is a nonstarter and will lose scores of votes," Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., said in a statement.
Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., posted on X, "If Bernie Sanders puts political requirements on the Aid to Israel, I will work in the House to remove those conditions or condition Aid to Gaza that requires the removal of Hamas. Let's not play this game.”
Then there are the members of "The Squad" — most notably Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and the recently censured Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. — who are against any aid to Israel amid their claims of "human rights abuses" because they don't want American dollars to support that.
"Neither Palestinians nor Israelis will know peace so long as Hamas holds hostages, controls Gaza, and retains its ability to attack Israelis," Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., recently said. "Conditioning aid to Israel will move peace further away, threatening both Israeli and Palestinian lives rather than saving them."
The White House so far has yet to place conditions on Israel, a key ally, which is the midst of a four-day pause in order to get back some hostages while allowing aid into Gaza.
"We're not in a position to really instruct a friend and an ally," a former defense official told Politico. "Suggest to them, yes. Urge them, yes, but not necessarily condition our aid. I think that would be a bridge too far."
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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