Biden calls Sanders' pitch to leverage Israel aid 'bizarre'




  • In World
  • 2019-12-07 21:10:57Z
  • By Associated Press
Biden calls Sanders\
Biden calls Sanders\' pitch to leverage Israel aid \'bizarre\'  

OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) - Joe Biden said Saturday that it is "bizarre" for Bernie Sanders to propose withholding U.S. military aid from Israel if the government there doesn't moderate its treatment of Palestinians.

The remarks highlight a nuanced but significant distinction between the Democratic presidential contenders. Biden and Sanders support a "two-state solution" for Israel and the Palestinians, and both men have criticized political leaders on each side of the long-standing conflict. But Biden's take, offered during a question-and-answer session with Iowa voters, hewed a more traditional U.S. establishment line by reaffirming a financial commitment to Israel regardless of its actions toward Palestinians.

The former vice president, while casting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a "counterproductive" and "extreme right" leader and accused Palestinian leaders of "fomenting" the conflict and "baiting everyone who is Jewish," while suggesting that some on the U.S. political left give the Palestinian Authority "a pass" when criticizing Israeli leadership.

"In terms of Bernie and others who talk about dealing with Zionism, I strongly support Israel as an independent Jewish state," Biden said in rural northeastern Iowa. He added, "The idea that I'd withdraw military aid, as others have suggested, from Israel, is bizarre. I would not do that. It's like saying to France, 'Because you don't agree with us, we're going to kick you out of NATO."

Sanders, a Vermont senator, elevated the matter in late October when he said the U.S. should "leverage" its billions of dollars in annual Israeli aid. "My solution is to say to Israel: 'You get $3.8 billion every year. If you want military aid, you're going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza.' In fact, I think it is fair to say that some of that should go right now into humanitarian aid."

Netanyahu said Thursday, despite warnings from the International Criminal Court, that he has the "full right" to annex the Jordan Valley altogether if it chooses, and he said he discussed annexation this week in a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Palestinians seek all the West Bank, captured by Israel in 1967, as the heartland of their hoped-for state. The Jordan Valley comprises about a quarter of the West Bank and is one of the few open areas that could be redeveloped by the Palestinians. Israel counters that the area is vital to its security. President Donald Trump's administration aligns closely with Netanyahu, already recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights. Democrats, especially in the party's progressive flank, have become increasingly critical of Netanyahu and the long-standing U.S. alliance with the Jerusalem government.

Biden on Saturday called it "a serious mistake, a fundamental mistake for the occupation of the West Bank now to become annexed property," and he chided Netanyahu for a lurch to the "extreme right" as a means "to keep control."

But Biden had perhaps even harsher words for the Palestinian Authority, seemingly blaming them for a failure to reach new peace accords "and get 98% of what they wanted" when President Barack Obama was in office with Biden as his top lieutenant.

"They continued to insist on baiting everyone who is Jewish, saying they would not sign a deal with a Jewish state, will not recognize one even if we have an independent nation," Biden said.

Biden said that, as president, he'd continue to push Israel to accept a Palestinian state, but added that he's "tired of everybody giving the Palestinian Authority a pass ... as if they're not continuing to foment all of this."

COMMENTS

More Related News

Dems Aim to Put
Dems Aim to Put 'Knife in the Heart' of Trump's Defense

About four hours into Thursday's session of the Senate impeachment trial, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the House's lead impeachment manager, had yet another video clip queued up to show senators in order to help make Democrats' case for President Trump's removal.Taking full advantage of their video privileges

Schumer Rules Out Deal With GOP on Witnesses: Impeachment Update
Schumer Rules Out Deal With GOP on Witnesses: Impeachment Update

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump's impeachment trial entered its second day Wednesday as House managers began presenting their case to the Senate.Here are the latest developments:Senators Getting Restless During House Case (4:08 p.m.)A number of senators were looking restless during Schiff's 2 1/2 hour opening statement -- standing up and even leaving the Senate chamber despite being told to stay at their desks throughout the trial.Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch of Idaho and several other Republicans walked out. Eventually a half-dozen or more were missing, including Roy Blunt of Missouri and a few other members of leadership.Republicans Kevin Cramer of North Dakota,...

Protesters rally at Capitol as Democrats make opening arguments in impeachment trial - live updates
Protesters rally at Capitol as Democrats make opening arguments in impeachment trial - live updates

House impeachment managers, led by Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., have 24 hours, over three days, to argue their case against Trump.

Hillary Clinton says
Hillary Clinton says 'nobody likes' Bernie Sanders
  • World
  • 2020-01-21 15:09:45Z

Hillary Clinton says "nobody likes" her former presidential rival Bernie Sanders, even as the Vermont senator remains entrenched among the front-runners in the Democratic race, with the Iowa caucus beginning in less than two weeks. Sanders' campaign said Tuesday it didn't have a comment about Clinton's remarks.

Warren would ask for resignation of all of Trump
Warren would ask for resignation of all of Trump's political appointees
  • US
  • 2020-01-21 14:02:14Z

Democratic U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Tuesday that if elected to the White House she would ask for the resignations of all of President Donald Trump's political appointees on her first day in office, including the 93 United States attorneys. Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts who has made anti-corruption the central theme of her presidential bid, is locked in a tight race for the chance to take on Trump in the November 2020 election with less than two weeks to go before Iowa kicks off the party nominating contests. Warren is in the top tier of 12 Democrats vying for the party's nomination but trails former Vice President Joe Biden and fellow U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World