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Merkley votes against foreign aid bill, says Netanyahu’s war campaign fails to reflect American values


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., issued the following statement Monday after voting against the Senate’s national security supplemental funding bill:

“I have supported getting the emergency supplemental bill to the floor where we could have a robust debate and amendment process on the different elements of the bill. Unfortunately, no amendments have been allowed.

“This bill has multiple important elements I support, including the FEND Off Fentanyl Act to help tackle the flow of fentanyl into our communities, international humanitarian aid, and support for improving security in the Indo-Pacific.

“It also addresses two other major issues: aid to Ukraine and aid to Israel.

“Here is the challenge: On the one hand, I strongly support aid to Ukraine. We need to sustain the supply of ammunition and weapons the Ukrainians need to stop the Russians. We must find a way to get this done.

“On the other hand, I strongly oppose sending more offensive military aid to Israel at a time when they are using American weapons in what President Biden has called an ‘indiscriminate’ campaign of bombing. I supported Israel going after Hamas following the horrific attack on October 7th. But the indiscriminate bombing and shelling that have killed 28,000 Palestinians and more than 18,000 women and children is unacceptable. Hamas is Israel’s enemy. Palestinian civilians are not the enemy.

“President Biden has repeatedly and urgently called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to adopt a much more targeted campaign against Hamas. Netanyahu has refused. President Biden has repeatedly and urgently called on Netanyahu to provide the dramatically expanded supply of food, water, medicine, and shelter needed to address the catastrophic humanitarian conditions generated by Israel’s campaign. Netanyahu has refused.

“The campaign conducted by the Netanyahu government is at odds with our American values and American law, which requires recipients of American assistance to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. While I have supported military aid to Israel in the past, and continue to support aid for defensive systems like Iron Dome and David’s Sling, I cannot vote to send more bombs and shells to Israel when they are using them in an indiscriminate manner against Palestinian civilians.

“So tonight, I am voting against the bill.”

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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