Senator rails at fellow Dems over letter calling for Israel killing probe
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Senator rails at fellow Dems over letter calling for Israel killing probe

Ben Cardin says appeal by lawmakers to secretary of state 'just wrong,' rejects comparison with Egypt on human rights

Sen. Ben Cardin speaking at a news conference with other leading Democratic senators at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, November 19, 2015. (JTA/Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
Sen. Ben Cardin speaking at a news conference with other leading Democratic senators at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, November 19, 2015. (JTA/Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

Sen. Ben Cardin said a letter from 11 fellow congressional Democrats asking the Obama administration to look into allegations of Israeli extrajudicial killing was “just wrong.”

Cardin, D-Md., in an interview published this week by the Forward was asked about the letter sent in February by a slate of lawmakers led by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for an investigation of Israel and Egypt under the so-called Leahy Law.

“There’s no comparison here,” Cardin told the Forward. “Israel has rule of law. They have a system that will hold those individuals accountable. … There’s no equivalency here.”

Authored 20 years ago by the Vermont senator, the Leahy Law withholds funding for military units that perpetuate human rights abuses and are not held accountable by their national authorities. Politico first reported the letter last week.

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, talks with Sen. Patrick Leahy on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 13, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Charles Dharapak)
Secretary of State John Kerry, right, talks with Sen. Patrick Leahy on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 13, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Charles Dharapak)

The letter alleges that Israel and Egypt “have hindered implementation of normal mechanisms for monitoring the use” of defense assistance.

The letter cites Amnesty International reports alleging the “extrajudicial killings” of at least four Palestinians, including a teenage boy who stabbed an Israeli teen and a woman who was shot after arriving at a West Bank checkpoint with a knife.

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