In response to the ban which prevented Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel, 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has suggested that Israel should also stop taking “billions and billions” of U.S. dollars.

In an interview Thursday on MSNBC’s All In the Vermont senator took aim at Binyamin Netanyahu and his decision to block the two congresswomen from entering Israel, saying, “If he doesn’t want members to visit maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.”


Sanders has been a sharp critic of Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, especially under the premiership of Netanyahu. Sanders has gone on record saying that he supports leveraging U.S. military aid to Israel to advance the cause of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and he reiterated that position. “I think what the United States should be doing, especially with the enormous amounts of money we’re spending there, is to demand that Israel and the Palestinian leadership sit down and start working out their differences and create peace in that troubled region.”

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According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel is “the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign assistance since World War II.” Most of that money is given in the form of weapons and military technology and supplies which Israel receives from the U.S.

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