Bernie Sanders to Force Vote That Could Freeze Military Aid to Israel

Bernie Sanders to Force Vote That Could Freeze Military Aid to Israel

Bernie Sanders is forcing a Senate vote that could potentially freeze aid to Israel.

The independent senator from Vermont utilized a provision called the Foreign Assistance Act to introduce the resolution last week. If adopted, it would require the State Department to document any human rights abuses committed by Israel since October 7, 2023. Failure to produce a report within 30 days would stall military aid to Israel.

“In essence, we will be voting on a very simple question: Do you support asking the State Department whether human rights violations may have occurred using U.S. equipment or assistance in this war?” Sanders said on Wednesday, citing billions spent in military aid and the use of tens of thousands of American-supplied bombs in the conflict resulting in civilian deaths.

“I hope it is not controversial to ask how U.S. weapons are being used,” he added.

While the measure has small odds of passing—it would need to get through both chambers of Congress and be signed by President Joe Biden, who has vehemently sided with Israel in the ongoing conflict—Sanders’s resolution will elucidate which politicians really care about the widely documented crimes committed by the Israeli military.

As of this weekend, at least 24,100 Palestinians, including more than 9,600 children, have been killed since the war began, along with some 61,000 Palestinians injured, according to Palestine’s mission to the United Nations.

Gazans are also suffering from the complete bombardment of war as well as deliberate intervention by Israel to restrict humanitarian aid to the region, resulting in shortages of food, drinking water, medical supplies, electricity, and housing in Palestine.

The “great majority” of Gazans are “are actually in famine, not just at risk of famine,” Martin Griffiths, the U.N. undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told CNN on Monday.

“In Gaza, 1.9 million people have been displaced by the bombing and the fighting, more than 85 percent of the population,” Sanders said in his statement last week. “Many of these people are homeless, and some 1.4 million are crowded into UN facilities. More than 100 of these UN facilities have been damaged in Israeli attacks. Tens of thousands of others are sleeping out in the cold as winter sets in.”

“All of us who know a little bit about history, when we hear the name Dresden, know that it is synonymous with the destruction of WWII. But that destruction happened over two years. Gaza matched this in two months,” Sanders noted.

The Capitol Police are reportedly investigating remarks made by Roger Stone, after explosive audio revealed the longtime Trump ally tried to plot the assassinations of two Democratic congressmen.

The FBI is aiding with the investigation, Mediaite reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.

A few weeks before the 2020 election, Stone told a member of his security detail that he wanted either Representative Eric Swalwell or Representative Jerry Nadler (or both) killed, according to audio obtained by Mediaite. Just a few months prior, Nadler had announced that the House Judiciary Committee, on which he and Swalwell serve, would investigate Trump’s decision to commute Stone’s sentence for federal crimes.

“It’s time to do it,” Stone told Sal Greco, then a member of the NYPD who was working as Stone’s security. “Let’s go find Swalwell. It’s time to do it. Then we’ll see how brave the rest of them are. It’s time to do it. It’s either Nadler or Swalwell has to die before the election. They need to get the message. Let’s go find Swalwell and get this over with. I’m just not putting up with this shit anymore.”

Stone, a notorious conservative political operative, has long been a loyal Trump adviser and ally. When Stone was convicted in July 2019 in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, Trump indirectly intervened.

Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress, witness tampering, and obstruction of a proceeding. Prosecutors wanted Stone to be sentenced to nine years in prison, but Trump’s Justice Department reportedly stepped in to give him a shorter sentence. Then, just days before Stone was due to go to jail, Trump commuted his sentence entirely. Nadler announced the House Judiciary investigation into the commutation just a few days later.

Four of the prosecutors abruptly quit the case following the Justice Department’s intervention. At least one, Aaron Zelinsky, acknowledged he had left in protest. A separate audio recording revealed Stone wanted retribution against Zelinsky, as well.

Stone has denied making the comments about Zelinsky, Swalwell, or Nadler and said the audio had been made with artificial intelligence.

GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley tried to claim that racism is no longer an issue on Tuesday, arguing that the United States isn’t a racist country and never has been.

“We’re not a racist country, Brian,” Haley told Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade. “We never have been.”

“I know, I faced racism when I was growing up. But I can tell you, today is a lot better than it was then,” the former South Carolina governor added. “I don’t want my kids growing up where they’re sitting there thinking that they’re disadvantaged because of a color or a gender. I want them to know that if they work hard, they can do and be anything they want to be in America.”

Nikki Haley: “We’ve never been a racist country”

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 16, 2024 Viewers were quick to dredge up recollections from Haley’s own  2012 autobiography, Can’t Is Not an Option, as evidence that the daughter of Sikh Indian immigrants did experience discrimination on the basis of her race.

In one section of the book, Haley recounts how as a kindergartner she was cast as Pocahontas during a Thanksgiving play, despite the fact that she “wasn’t that kind of Indian.”

“It was annoying. I remember thinking to myself, Why can’t I be the pilgrim?” Haley wrote.

In another section, Haley recollects how her father was profiled by law enforcement due to his turban, how her brother begged to break with Sikh tradition and have his hair cut due to relentless bullying, and how, at the age of 8, she was disqualified from a local beauty pageant due to the color of her skin.

But despite Haley’s insistence that America—and her hometown of Bamberg, South Carolina—have changed, compatriots and local residents feel otherwise.

“I think all of us know what this country was built on. And [racism] still exists,” Tony Duncan, a Black business owner in Bamberg who went to school with Haley’s older siblings, told NPR last year. “It exists. As people here in America, we have to deal with these things.”

A 2023 Washington Post poll found that 51 percent of Black Americans felt racism would get worse over the rest of their lifetimes, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying that now is a more dangerous time to be a Black teenager than when they were teenagers. That statistic includes nearly 80 percent of Black Americans who were aged 50 or above.

At the end of the day, the recent gaffe is just another sign that Haley has not yet figured out how to square the issue of race in her campaign. In December, Haley spurred controversy when she stumbled and fumbled her way through answering a point-blank question about the cause of the U.S.  » …
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