WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:
“For 75 years, the United States of America has been a friend and ally of the State of Israel. Our partnership has been one based on shared values of democracy, freedom and opportunity. Our commitment and connection to the people of Israel is unbreakable and we will always be there to defend the Jewish state against antisemitic attacks and those who would like a violent end to this great country.
“Today, I speak to our friend and ally as a family member who is concerned. Out of love for the people of Israel and our shared values, I am fearful for the future of democracy in Israel as the right-wing Netanyahu government threatens to undermine the essential checks-and-balances that make democracies work. I urge the prime minister and his cabinet to listen to President Isaac Herzog and the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest to protect the independence of the judiciary.
“In the U.S., we have seen firsthand that democracy may be challenged but it is resilient. I have no doubt that Israeli democracy also will show its resiliency. If Mr. Netanyahu wants to demonstrate real strength and courage, I implore him to not turn his country away from democracy but return to the roots and values that have made his country flourish and grow. There is still time to correct course and put the long-term health of Israeli democracy over short-term personal power. America will continue to be a friend and ally of the State of Israel. It is the strongest democracy in the Middle East.”