Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – Washington should halt its aid to Israel as long as it continues occupying Palestinian land, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president of the United States, told a town hall meeting on Wednesday night.
The third-party candidate repeated her call for ending aid at the televised event, which was hosted by CNN in New York. “We will not continue to give you $8 million a day when the Israeli army is occupying land in Palestine,” she said.
Stein was asked why she plans to target Israel, and not other nations in the Middle East committing human rights abuses on a massive scale.
She does, in fact, plan on ending support for the governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Stein said Israel would simply be included in the same category under a Green Party administration.
“I’ve been very careful of avoiding that pitfall of targeting Israel,” she replied.
“Our foreign aid will be based on international law. I don’t think we’re doing Israel a favor by condoning a policy that makes Israel very insecure.”
Stein is polling at roughly 3 percent nationwide, far below the 15 percent required to take the stage in three nationally televised presidential debates which are scheduled this fall. At the meeting, she spoke of her Jewish roots, and described herself as a “very religious” young woman who “actually brought traditional Jewish ritual into my family.”
Stein was raised Jewish and has family members in Israel.
“My view of the world grew out of the morality” of Judaism, she said. Currently, however, she does not actively practice any religion, and she married outside the faith.
She criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, which she said had the backing of a US casino magnate (Sheldon Adelson) who was “influencing Israel policy.”
Stein equivocated when asked by event host, Chris Cuomo, if Israel should keep its status as an American ally with special status.
“I believe all of our allies are special allies,” she said.
“We are all members of the human family.”
Israel gained “strategic partner” status with passage of the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, and receives more US foreign aid than any other nation. The two governments are in the final stages of negotiating a defense deal worth an estimated $38 billion-$40b.over 10 years.
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