WASHINGTON – Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has added his identify to a public letter in opposition to Israel’s plans to annex elements of the West Financial institution. The letter, which is being spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls to restrict or withhold U.S. navy assist to Israel ought to it comply with via with the proposed annexation.
Sanders is one in every of a dozen Democratic lawmakers, and the one one from the Senate, to affix the letter, which has drawn sturdy denunciation from AIPAC on Monday.
The letter is completely different in content material and tone from a more moderate anti-annexation letter that was launched earlier this month and signed by over 190 Democratic members of the Home of Representatives. That letter defined opposition to annexation principally via pro-Israeli arguments, and was signed by a number of high-ranking Democrats who’re thought-about sturdy supporters of Israel and shut allies of AIPAC, corresponding to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Home Majority Chief Steny Hoyer (D-MD).
The Ocasio-Cortez letter, which now additionally enjoys Sanders’ help, is rather more crucial of Israel, and warns explicitly that unilateral annexation would create an “apartheid” actuality on the bottom.
It additionally features a direct name to set situations on U.S. navy assist to Israel in order that “U.S. taxpayers aren’t supporting annexation in any approach,” an concept that Sanders has been promoting for more than a year, and that has been rejected by the Democratic Get together’s presidential nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has known as it “outrageous.”
The letter clearly says annexation would “entrench human rights violations in opposition to the Palestinian folks,” pointing it out as a consequence of bigger Israeli coverage. “American taxpayers should not be enabling violations of human rights anyplace, and Israel needs to be no exception,” a Congressional supply concerned in discussions over the letter informed Haaretz.
AIPAC got here out in opposition to the letter in a sequence of tweets that included reward for Biden and former President Barack Obama for his or her administration’s coverage of accelerating navy assist to Israel. “The letter rejects President Obama’s safety help dedication to Israel,” AIPAC wrote, including that “Congress should proceed to completely implement the Obama-Biden” coverage on safety assist to Israel.
The choice by AIPAC to publicly give credit score to Biden for the big quantity of safety assist to Israel, creates an fascinating check for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, each of whom are seen by many pro-Israeli Democrats in Washington as brazenly supportive of President Trump’s re-election. It’s unclear in the event that they will even acknowledge publicly Biden’s involvement in crafting the 2016 “memorandum of understanding” relating to the navy assist.
Democratic Majority for Israel, a company that’s attempting to strengthen help for Israel throughout the Democratic Get together, additionally denounced the letter and is lobbying members of Congress in opposition to signing it. The group known as the letter “dangerous coverage and dangerous politics”.
The Democratic Get together has been united in latest weeks in expressing opposition to annexation, however the brand new letter reveals that there are splits throughout the get together on the query of what needs to be America’s response to such a step. The overwhelming majority of Democrats are nearer to the place staked out by Biden, who has denounced annexation however on the similar time, rejected the calls to restrict navy assist to Israel. The group of lawmakers who signed the latest letter signify a extra left-wing and important method that Sanders has been selling over the previous two years.
In the meantime, the Dutch parliament adopted a movement on Tuesady calling on the federal government to “establish choices of measures presumably to be taken ought to Israel proceed with annexation of Palestinian territory.”
This follows an identical movement handed on Friday by the Belgian parliament, which along with different proposals being superior in a number of EU member states may affect the European stance on the issue.
Noa Landau contributed to this report