Sen. Bernie Sanders has walked a distinct line throughout the current Israel-Hamas war that began on Oct. 7. On Sunday, he spoke with CBS’s “Face the Nation” about the dualities of the conflict, telling host Margaret Brennan, “I don’t know how you could have a permanent cease-fire with Hamas who has said before Oct. 7, and after Oct. 7, that they want to destroy Israel. They want a permanent war.”
Of the current war in the region, Sanders added, “It is a humanitarian disaster. And the United States has got to put all of the pressure that it can to tell Netanyahu to stop this disastrous military approach.” He added that the disaster includes “1.9 million people displaced, going around without any water, food. Without any medical supplies.”
Brennan also asked Sanders, who is against the U.S. supplying more aid to Israel, what the intent of Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s government in the country might be. The senator was thoughtful in his response, responding, “It really is hard to say. It may be that they’re responding in rage against the horrific and terrible Hamas attacks that killed 1,200 innocent Israelis.”
“Maybe in some of the right-wing extremists minds, there is the goal to drive the Palestinian people off of Gaza completely,” he continued. “But they have now destroyed about half of the housing units in Gaza. So it’s hard to predict.”
Ultimately, Sanders said, “Israel is losing the war in terms of how the world is looking at this situation. And I think that it would be irresponsible for the United States to give Netanyahu another $10 billion to continue to wage this awful war.”
When asked if Hamas was “justified in some way” to launch its attack, Sanders replied, “I think Israel has the right to defend itself and go after Hamas. Not the Palestinian people.”
He also defended his vote against a supplemental aid package for both Israel and Ukraine. While Sanders said “I support, strongly support, aid for Ukraine to stand up to Putin aggression,” that degree of support does not extend to Israel’s current methods. He added, “What Congress has got to do is make it clear … to Netanyahu that we’re not going to simply give him a blank check to kill women and children in Palestine.”
Watch the interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders in the video above.