Pro-Israel US Senators move forward to block Sanders’s resolution
Pro-Israel Senators in the US Senate are moving forward to frustrate independent Senator Bernie Sanders’s effort of blocking a $735 million weapons sale to Israel following the recent Israeli regime aggression against Palestinians.
Sanders introduced the resolution to the Senate on Thursday which is similar to the one drafted by a number of Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Wednesday in response to Israel’s atrocities in the Gaza Strip.
Sanders’s resolution only requires a simple majority to pass the Senate, but it would need a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House if it is vetoed by President Joe Biden.
However, Sanders does not appear to have a path to the votes he needs to pass the resolution in the Senate because of pro-Israel Senators like Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
“I wouldn’t be supporting it,” Menendez said on Friday.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the second-ranking Democrat on the panel, also said he would oppose the resolution, adding that he doesn’t think Sanders could secure the 50 votes in the Senate to try to block the sale.
“I’m not supportive of his resolution,” Cardin said. “I have confidence that the Biden administration is handling it properly.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said he was waiting to get briefed before taking a position on the sale to Israel.
“We’re going to have to think about ways to make sure that Israel stays on a path to a Palestinian state. I think that future is much more in jeopardy after the crisis of the last week,” said Murphy, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, refused to announce his position on Sanders’s resolution, but indicated that he trusted the Biden administration’s policy.
“The sale is going to take place a year from now … I hope they are talking to them about the proposed use of these weapons,” Kaine said.
He added that the efforts to block the sale was “those like Bernie wanting to use this to express disapproval, even though they’re not going for a year. I think the Biden team is having these discussions with Israel.”
A group of US Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a measure to block Biden’s controversial plan to supply Israel with millions of dollars of weapons at the time of the Tel Aviv regime’s devastating bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
The contentious plan at the time of Tel Aviv’s unprecedented military aggression on the Gaza Strip drew widespread condemnation from rights advocates and progressive legislators, who are demanding that Biden pressure the regime of Israel to end its offensive on the populated besieged enclave.
Israel on Thursday declared a unilateral ceasefire starting at 2 a.m. on Friday, and the Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza accepted it.