Stop U.S. Weapon Shipments to Israel Now

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered a compelling speech on March 6, 2024, at the U.S. Senate floor, passionately addressing the unfolding crisis in Gaza and calling for an immediate cessation of U.S. taxpayer dollars funding the conflict initiated by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Throughout his speech, Senator Sanders painted a vivid picture of the horrifying situation in Gaza, emphasizing the catastrophic consequences of Israel's actions.

Sanders began his address by acknowledging the difficulty of discussing painful and terrible situations but stressed the urgency of addressing the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. He highlighted the alarming conditions, with hundreds of thousands of children facing starvation due to Israel's indiscriminate bombardment and restrictions on humanitarian aid.

Importantly, Sanders reminded his fellow Americans and members of Congress that the U.S. taxpayers are complicit in the ongoing disaster, asserting that this is not a distant, unrelated crisis but a man-made catastrophe with direct U.S. involvement. He called for immediate action, emphasizing that Americans must put an end to their complicity in this humanitarian disaster.

Recapping the timeline of events, Sanders pointed out that the conflict started with a brutal terrorist attack by Hamas, resulting in Israeli retaliation. However, he criticized Israel for unleashing total war on Gaza, causing massive casualties and destruction. Sanders expressed his stance that while Israel had the right to respond to the initial attack, it did not justify a war against the entire Palestinian population.

Sanders presented distressing statistics, revealing that in the past five months, Israel had killed nearly 31,000 Palestinians and injured over 72,000, with a significant portion being women and children. The destruction of infrastructure and housing units in Gaza was staggering, with 70% of housing units damaged or destroyed. He underscored the severity of the crisis, stating that 1.7 million people, 80% of Gaza's population, had been displaced.

The Senator highlighted the dire humanitarian situation, where there was virtually no electricity, little running water, and no fully functional hospitals for the 2.2 million residents. He emphasized the growing threat of starvation and disease, with reports of children dying from malnutrition and dehydration. Sanders criticized the insufficient humanitarian aid reaching Gaza, pointing out that the Israeli blockade and restrictions were the primary obstacles.

Drawing attention to the alarming decrease in humanitarian access, Sanders highlighted the urgent need for increased aid delivery. He criticized Israel for preventing the necessary food, water, medical supplies, and fuel from reaching the desperate population. He recounted instances where aid trucks were attacked and turned away, causing further suffering for the people in Gaza.

Sanders then turned his focus to the U.S. government's role, expressing disappointment in the continuous military aid provided to Israel, totaling billions of dollars. He criticized the administration's approval of an additional $14 billion in military aid, contributing to the destruction in Gaza. Sanders also condemned the administration's attempts to avoid Congressional notification requirements in delivering military equipment to Israel.

In conclusion, Senator Sanders called for a change in approach, asserting that the United States must use its leverage to demand that Israel opens its borders for humanitarian aid. He urged his colleagues to stand up against the ongoing devastation and emphasized the need to prioritize the lives of innocent children and civilians over political interests. The Senator stressed that the U.S. cannot afford to be complicit in the suffering of the Palestinian people any longer and called for immediate action to end the crisis.

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