WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the below statement following his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and bipartisan Senate leaders.
“Today, I welcomed Prime Minister Netanyahu to the United States. Especially now during this tumultuous period, as Israeli citizens have endured weeks of random and deadly stabbings and other terrorist attacks by Palestinians, I used our meeting to reiterate Israel’s absolute right to defend its citizens. This violence directed at all Israelis, from the young to the elderly, must be condemned strongly and unequivocally. All the while, the security threats Israel faces are severe and evolving, from the worsening conflict in Syria, to the rocket capabilities of Hamas and Hezbollah, to the ongoing threats posed by the Iranian regime. Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated his commitment to a two-state solution with two states living side by side in peace and security, but this can only be achieved if President Abbas is willing to negotiate directly with Israel.
“In this environment, the Israeli people, the region, and indeed the world must know that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel. That is why I support negotiations on the next 10-year Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel for security assistance. The military and intelligence cooperation between both governments and ensuring the security of Israel are top foreign policy priorities of mine, of this Congress, and of the Obama Administration.”