Elizabeth Warren Open to Making Settlement Freeze Condition for U.S. Aid to Israel

Leading Democratic candidate says 'everything is on the table' if Israel moves in the opposite direction of a two-state solution

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Elizabeth Warren takes the stage during a town hall event on October 18, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Elizabeth Warren takes the stage during a town hall event on October 18, 2019 in Norfolk, Virginia. Credit: Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP

Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the leading candidates in the Democratic Party's presidential primary, said on Saturday that she would consider making an Israeli freeze on West Bank settlement construction a condition for U.S. aid, according to The Hill.

"Right now, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, [but] that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution," the Massachusetts senator told the news outlet. "It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table."

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another prominent Democratic candidate, said in July that he supports using U.S. aid to pressure the Israeli government.

During an interview for the popular podcast “Pod Save America,” Sanders was asked about his vocal criticism of Netanyahu and whether he would consider using American aid as leverage to get the Israeli government to act differently. “Absolutely,” Sanders answered

"In recent years under Netanyahu, you have an extreme right-wing government with many racist tendencies," he said.

In August, Sanders raised the issue of U.S. assistance in connection with the Israeli government's decision to deny entry to Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. “But the idea that a member of the United States Congress cannot visit a nation which, by the way, we support to the tune of billions and billions of dollars, is clearly an outrage,” Sanders said. “And if Israel doesn’t want members of the United States Congress to visit their country to get a firsthand look at what’s going on – and I’ve been there many, many times – but if he doesn’t want members to visit, maybe he can respectfully decline the billions of dollars that we give to Israel.”

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