Press Release

Welch Speaks on the Senate Floor, Calls for an End to U.S. Funding for Netanyahu’s Flawed War Strategy in Gaza

Apr 10, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.) took to the Senate Floor today to reiterate his call for a ceasefire and the release of the Israeli hostages. He also called for an end to U.S. funding for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s war in Gaza, which he said has been a disaster for the Palestinians, for Israel, for the hostages, for the U.S., and for the cause of peace and security in the Middle East. The speech comes after Mr. Netanyahu announced plans for a military invasion of Rafah, where more than 1 million Palestinians are sheltering after being told to relocate there from northern Gaza.  In his remarks, Senator Welch also discussed the tragic death of the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers and called for a thorough and independent investigation. 

“Combating ruthless terrorists like Hamas is a challenge we face, Israel faces, the world faces. But this war is not making any of us safer from terrorism. It is creating the next generation of terrorists. With an invasion of Rafah looming, the Biden Administration has warned Mr. Netanyahu that unless there is a credible plan to relocate the Palestinians who are trapped there, such an invasion would cause unacceptable civilian losses. That, however, does not appear to have dissuaded Prime Minister Netanyahu,” said Senator Welch.    

“After six months of war, the situation regrettably in Gaza is worse than ever. Hamas is not defeated, nor do the experts that I have spoken to believe it can be. Gaza is all but destroyed. Two million Palestinians lack the basic necessities of life and have nothing to return to. We need to change course. The hostages need to come home. The killing needs to stop. The war must end,” concluded Welch.   

Read and download his full remarks here.    

Watch his full remarks here.   

In November, Senator Welch called for an indefinite ceasefire to stop the bombing, prevent further loss of civilian life, extend access to humanitarian relief to those who had been displaced, and continue negotiations to secure hostages.    

Senator Welch voted against the National Security Supplemental and afterwards took to the Senate Floor to expand on that his vote was to convey that he could not support sending billions of taxpayer dollars to fund Netanyahu’s disastrous military campaign in Gaza, which has killed thousands of civilians, created a massive humanitarian crisis and is increasingly destabilizing the region.    

In April, Senator Welch hosted World Central Kitchen Founder and Chef José Andrés on Capitol Hill to learn about the organization’s delivery of food into Gaza, Haiti, and other needy communities. Less than a month later,  Israeli Defense Forces deliberately targeted World Central Kitchen aid convoys, and Senator Welch stressed the United States had a responsibility to stop financing the Netanyahu war plan. He also joined his colleagues immediately after the attack in a letter calling for emergency airlifts of medicine and medical equipment to the few remaining partially functioning hospitals.