Sen. Bernie Sanders breaks with Squad on approach to Israel ceasefire calls

 December 11, 2023

The Israel-Hamas war has splintered the Democratic Party, as the radical, antisemitic side of the party wants a permanent ceasefire and Israel's ability to defend itself essentially stripped.

Members of the radical, progressive Squad, some of whom have been rebuked and censured for their antisemitic remarks, seem to be in the minority with regard to others on the left, like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Sanders, also progressive, broke with Squad members and others on his side who are calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The Vermont lawmaker explained exactly what he supports in the realm of ceasefires during a recent CBS News interview.

"First of all, I strongly support and wish and hope that the United States will support the United Nations resolution that was vetoed, that we vetoed the other day," Sanders said.

He added, "That was a humanitarian pause, a humanitarian cease-fire that would, by the way, call for the release of all of the hostages held by Hamas and would have allowed the U.N. and other agencies to begin to supply the enormous amount of humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people."

"In terms of a permanent cease-fire, I don't know how you could have a permanent cease-fire when Hamas has said before Oct. 7 and after Oct. 7 that they want to destroy Israel. They want a permanent war. I don't know how you have a permanent cease-fire with an attitude like that," he added.

For his part, Sanders still believes in Israel's right to mount a defense in the wake of the Oct. 7 attacks, but he has also condemned PM Benjamin Netanyahu for how he's going about it.

Fox News noted:

Sanders has argued the United States would be complicit in an "all-out war against innocent men, women and children who have nothing to do with Hamas" if his colleagues in Congress approve more no-strings-attached funding for Israel amid the conflict.

The White House, even amid growing pressure from the left, has continued to side with Israel's approach, for the most part, but has made clear that the country should do more to protect civilians in Gaza.

Netanyahu and other Israel leaders have vowed to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza strip completely.

Only time will tell how the war ultimately unfolds -- and ends.