Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenReuters

Two Democratic presidential candidates have suggested in recent days that the US should withhold aid to Israel as a means to pressure it to stop “settlement construction”, JTA reports.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is one of those candidates, having said during a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday, “Right now, (Prime Minister Binyamin) Netanyahu says he is going to take Israel in a direction of increasing settlements, that does not move us in the direction of a two-state solution.”

“It is the official policy of the United States of America to support a two-state solution, and if Israel is moving in the opposite direction, then everything is on the table,” she also said in remarks captured on video by The Hill.

A day earlier, on Friday, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, said during an event at the University of Chicago that aid to Israel is “leverage to guide Israel in the right direction”, but did not “commit now to all of the ways that that leverage can and should be used.”

In the past, Warren has called on the Israeli government to respect the rights of Palestinian Arab protesters on the Gaza border. The protests, dubbed the “March of the Return”, have been occurring on a weekly basis since March 30 of 2018 and have been orchestrated and encouraged by Hamas.

Warren also voted in favor of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and skipped Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress in which he spoke out against the agreement.

Shortly after she announced her presidential bid, Warren said that the United States should be pushing Israel and the Palestinian Authority toward a two-state solution.

Buttigieg has been critical of Netanyahu in the past as well. In April, he called Netanyahu’s pledge to annex Israeli towns in Judea and Samaria, calling it a “provocation”.

In June, Buttigieg warned that if Netanyahu carries out his plan to annex communities in Judea and Samaria, he would if elected ensure no US taxpayer funds support the move.