US/World News

Cardin says he won’t sign Senate letter against annexation

(JNS) Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the second-highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on May 5 that he won’t sign a letter calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, not to move forward with annexing parts of the West Bank. “I don’t like to second-guess Israel’s government’s decisions, although I have been pretty critical of a lot of policies under the Netanyahu prime ministership,” said Cardin during a webcast hosted by the Jewish Democratic Council of America.

The letter was drafted by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). It states that annexation “would fray our unique bonds, imperil Israel’s future and place out of reach the prospect of a lasting peace,” according to an action alert sent out by J Street on Monday.

Cardin said that while he deems unilateral annexation “not to be a helpful process” and would “encourage [Israel] to try to preserve” the position of a two-state solution, he added, “I don’t think it is helpful for us to sow dissension in the United States as it relates to the support for Israel. I think we have to show that even when we disagree with the policies of the government that the relationship between the United States and Israel must remain strong.”

Main Photo: February 11, 2020 – Washington, DC, United States: U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaking about the Clean Economy Act of 2020. MICHAEL BROCHSTEIN

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