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The New Arab

Bernie Sanders slams Israel, Saudi for 'inhumane' Gaza situation

The veteran senator slammed the lack of support for Gaza [AP]

Date of publication: 17 April, 2018

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The prominent leftwing US lawmaker denounced Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince for 'unjustified' violence and inaction in Gaza, in an address to Jewish lobby group J Street.
Veteran US politician and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders delivered a blistering critique of the Israeli leadership and its response to the recent Gaza protests, while calling for a "new direction" for the peace process in the region, in an address to left-leaning pro-Israel lobby J Street on Monday.

"The presence of Hamas members among a crowd of tens of thousands does not justify the level of violence we saw, and frankly it's amazing to me that anyone would find that point controversial," Sanders told the audience at the J Street conference.

"I have condemned Hamas' use of terrorist violence and will continue to do so. But that violence cannot excuse shooting at unarmed protesters, and it cannot excuse trapping almost 2 million people inside Gaza."

Sanders lambasted "the reactionary policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu" and "the inhumane blockade of Gaza," however the Senator widened the scope of his criticism to neighbouring Arab leaders - namely Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who have failed to adequately support Gaza.

"I say to the crown prince and the other multi-billionaire leaders in the region, stop just talking about the poverty and distress in Gaza, do something meaningful about it," Sanders told conference goers.

Fifty million dollars is not a small sum of money, but let us not forget that it is ten percent of what the crown prince paid for a yacht


"I heard the other day that the Saudi king pledged $50 million to UNRWA, the UN agency that works with Palestinian refugees. Fifty million dollars is not a small sum of money, but let us not forget that it is ten percent of what the crown prince paid for a yacht," Sanders said in a blistering attack on MbS, who has recently returned from schmoozing with Washington, Silicon Valley and Hollywood elites.

Sanders, born himself to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, went on to reiterate his support for the two-state solution and denounce Netanyahu's divisive policies, saying that ending the occupation and enshrinig a Palestinian state is "in the interest of Americans, Israelis, Palestinians and the entire region".

Somewhat predictably, Sanders criticised President Trump's widely condemned decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying it undermined the peace process and that the US' status as "an honest and even-handed broker" was now "non-existent".

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