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October 29, 2019 4:54 pm

Ex-UN Envoy Nikki Haley Blasts Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders for Plan to Condition US Military Aid to Israel on Humanitarian Relief for Hamas-Ruled Gaza

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson.

Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley blasted Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders for his pledge on Monday to force Israel to allocate part of its US military assistance toward humanitarian relief in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

At the national conference of the left-wing J Street lobby group in Washington, DC, Sanders said after being asked about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, “I would use the leverage of $3.8 billion,” referring to the military aid package.

“My solution is, to Israel, if you want military aid, you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza,” Sanders stated. “I would say that some of the $3.8 billion should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

In response, Haley — widely considered to be a potential future Republican presidential candidate in the post-Donald Trump era — tweeted, “Just when you thought Bernie Sanders couldn’t get any more radical, he outdid himself. He wants to take money we give to Israel to defend itself from terrorists, and give it to Gaza, which is run by terrorists?? Unreal.”

“Why isn’t every other Dem pres candidate saying he’s wrong?” she asked.

Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein — a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party — also chimed in, tweeting, “@BernieSanders, stop talking nonsense.”

Taking umbrage at Sanders’ remark that “[w]hat is going on in Gaza right now, for example, is absolutely inhumane,” Edelstein said, “Just yesterday, I met with representatives of the EU during their visit to the Knesset, and I told them about the absurd claims regarding the economic situation in the Gaza Strip.”

“It’s time to put an end to these claims,” Edelstein declared, asserting that Gaza has “all the necessary means — they use the money earmarked for the public benefit in order to attack the State of Israel.”

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