Sen. Sanders says White House should "change course" in approach to Israel-Hamas war

Senator Bernie Sanders is seen on Capitol Hill on June 8.
Senator Bernie Sanders is seen on Capitol Hill on June 8. Jose Luis Magana/AP/File

US Sen. Bernie Sanders called on President Joe Biden Sunday to “change course” on the administration’s approach to the Israel-Hamas war, in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday, citing a “horrific humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza.

“My view has been from the beginning: Israel has a right to respond to this horrific terrorist attack from Hamas, but you do not have a right to go to war against an entire people, women and children,” the Vermont independent said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“And the United States Congress has got to act, because a lot of this destruction is being done with military weapons supplied by the United States of America.”

Sanders also called for an immediate humanitarian pause and a “massive increase in humanitarian aid” to those in Gaza facing starvation. Sanders has said he does not believe a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict is possible, but he has joined fellow progressives and Democrats in pushing for humanitarian conditions on further aid provided to Israel.

Asked if he believes young progressives will support Biden in 2024 or abandon him because of his support for Israel, Sanders said the “choice is pretty clear” if Biden faces Trump, who Sanders said is “one of the most dangerous political figures in modern American history.”

Sanders also responded Sunday to progressive Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s condemnation of US strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen as “an unacceptable violation of the Constitution,” saying, “The president has a right to respond on an emergency basis – the disruption of international shipping brought about by the Houthis."

But Sanders continued: “On the other hand, he has got to get to Congress immediately. It is Congress that has a right to declare war, not the president of the United States.

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