Press Release

July 24, 2014
Cardin Defends Israel’s Right to Defend Its Citizens at the Highest Levels

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), continues to work across partisan lines to defend Israel’s right of self-defense. In two letters, one to President Barack Obama with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and another to United National Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon with Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Senator Cardin made it clear that “Israel is undertaking extraordinary efforts to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas cynically uses other Palestinians as human shields and attempts to deliberately kill Israeli civilians.”


In the letter to President Obama, Senator Cardin urges the president not to pressure Israel into a ceasefire before the threats from Hamas are fully eliminated. “We cannot force a ceasefire upon Israel that leaves them vulnerable to future deadly attacks. … Both Palestinian and Israeli civilians are dying because of the distorted priorities of the leaders of a terrorist organization whose primary goal is to destroy Israel. We must do everything possible to ensure they do not succeed.”


Senator Cardin’s letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was a firm rebuttal to the Secretary-General’s recent comments describing Israel’s military operations in Gaza as “atrocious action.” In the letter, Senator Cardin writes: “When leaders and organizations of the United Nations blur the clear distinction between a nation-state defending itself and a terrorist organization attempting to murder civilians – and suggest the two are morally equivalent – it results in … dangerous outcomes.”