Sen. Ben Cardin: Leahy letter on extrajudicial killing allegations in Israel is ‘wrong’


WASHINGTON (JTA) — 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.

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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