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Senator Cardin’s double standard on nukes in the Middle East

Middle East
on 13 Comments

Ben Cardin
Member, U.S. Senate
Washington, DC

Dear Senator Cardin,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, Ben, but I was waiting to see what would happen to your Israel-sponsored legislation to undercut and subvert President Obama’s negotiations with Iran on an agreement to “no nukes”. As you know, it easily passed in the Senate, a huge mistake and blunder on the part of you and your colleagues.

Your obvious dismissal, and that of the entire Senate, of Israel’s nuclear arsenal of from 80 to 400 hydrogen, neutron and atomic warheads recently made public by the Pentagon is at best mystifying and at worst incriminating. Acceptance of Israel’s denial over the past 30 years of its nuclear arsenal by you, the U.S. Senate and the entire U.S. government has permitted Israel to avoid signing on to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) thereby avoiding U.N. inspections of Israel’s nuclear program and its nuclear arsenal. This, in itself, is entirely unacceptable! Yet Israel continues to demonize Iran and its nuclear program, although Iran is a signatory of the NPT and subject to the U.N. inspections.

You stated in your response to me on May 1 that “Israel is one of America’s closest allies and the only stable democracy in the Middle East.” However, you know as well as I do that Israel has never been a “democracy” because of its “policies “ regarding the Palestinians, including 48 years of forced military occupation of all three of Palestine’s territories. Israel, as you know, controls many facets of “life” in Palestine, including a blockade/siege of Gaza from the rest of the world for the last eight years. Yet these millions of Palestinians are denied the vote in Israeli elections, an ugly situation similar to denial of the vote to African Americans in the Deep South of your America until passage of the Voter Rights Act of 1965.

Moreover, Israel has continued to steal and/or destroy Palestinian homes, businesses, farms and property in their East Jerusalem and the West Bank to create still more unlawful Jewish-only “settlements” on Palestinian lands; Israel has constructed numerous barriers throughout East Jerusalem and the West Bank, including hundreds of military “checkpoints” and the 95-mile (and growing) apartheid wall impeding and blocking Palestinian travel within their own territories for shopping, employment, to seek medical treatment, etc.; and Israel has contrived two “systems of justice” , civil justice for Israelis and military “justice” for Palestinians, including imprisonment without the filing of charges or any form of court involvement.

These horrifically discriminatory “policies” bear no resemblance whatsoever to a “democracy”—and you, Senator Cardin, know that all too well, as well as the fact that Israel continues daily to commit countless violations of international law and Geneva Conventions. Two examples of which I am sure you are aware:

Illegal occupation: U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967 emphasizes “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and called for withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from the Palestinian territories occupied [by Israel] in the 1967 conflict.

Illegal “settlements”: Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Article 85 of the First Protocol to Fourth Geneva Convention further stipulates that “the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Convention” shall be regarded as one of the “grave breaches of this Protocol” that “shall be regarded as war crimes.”

And then there was Israel’s merciless and indiscriminate onslaught in Gaza this past summer, ending the lives of more than 2,200 Palestinians, 565 of them children, and destruction of tens of thousands of homes, mosques, hospitals, schools, businesses and infrastructure. You obviously are aware of the recent report released just days ago by “Breaking the Silence” in which the testimonies of more than 60 Israeli soldiers and officers revealed horrific brutality and war crimes in Gaza at the hands of Israel’s army. Samples of commanders’ orders to their troops: “Any person you run into: shoot to kill”; ‘Fire at every person you see’; Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians. These orders from Israeli commanders amounted to genocide and, just yesterday, it was announced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had appointed extremist right-wing Knesset member Ayelet Shaked as Israel’s new “justice minister”. A Shaked quote of several months ago complements the orders reportedly given to Israeli troops in “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza: “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy” and she called for its destruction, “including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” Consequently we know that “justice” in Israel for Palestinians will slip further into an ugly, racist, genocidal, ethnic cleansing abyss.

Your earlier vote on passage of the anti-BDS legislation, along with your vote today on the passage of the Iran nuclear bill leaves me no choice but to disassociate myself from any further support of you as a member of the U.S. Senate. Your choice in supporting the State of Israel in all of its criminality and racism is unacceptable to me and I am sure to many other of your constituents as they learn what Israel is really all about.

Therefore, Ben, I would urge you to take stock of your seemingly blind support of Israel and its evermore extremist right-wing “government”. Should you wish to discuss any of the matters in this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me at [telephone number and email address].


James F. Michie

About James Michie

James Michie lives in Bethesda, MD

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13 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    May 8, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Sweet, kind letter from a former supporter. Dump letter. I should send a copy to New York Senator Schumer, but what good would it do? “Dear Chuck, As you know * * * “.

    • JimMichie
      May 11, 2015, 6:33 pm

      Yes, pabelmont, I am a lifelong voting Democrat, helped vote Cardin into office and voted to keep him in office last election, but no more. Senator Cardin is far too much of a Zionist sympathizer. And please keep in mind my distinction between Zionism and Judaism. Zionism is largely political and Judaism is religious. Have a nice day.

  2. talknic
    May 9, 2015, 12:49 am

    Most important and missing is a reminder to the Senator of the Israeli Govt plea by which the United States recognized Israel and on which all UN resolutions against Israel are based.

    “…. the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947 …. “

  3. RoHa
    May 9, 2015, 5:36 am

    No mention of the Symington Amendment.

  4. JeffB
    May 9, 2015, 6:56 am

    Acceptance of Israel’s denial over the past 30 years of its nuclear arsenal

    This is just false. Israel has not denied have nuclear weapons since the early 1960s. It has had a policy of strategic ambiguity where it neither confirms or denies them. A good sample article:

    As for the rest like:
    merciless in Gaza — well of course they were merciful. A relatively small number of people died even while the Gazans shot rockets for months. A merciless attack would have looked entirely different.

    Israel is not a democracy — Israel selects its policies by leaders who are elected. That’s representative democracy. That’s the criteria. Area-A and Area-B are a military dictatorship. If you are willing to say that’s Israel i.e. there is no occupation, then certainly there is territory within Israel not democratically governed. But you say exactly the opposite with your cite of 242, you assert that Area-A and Area-B are in some country called Palestine.

    • just
      May 9, 2015, 9:35 am

      Your post is a veritable cornucopia of Ziolies, JeffB.

      But this is simply too sickening:

      “well of course they were merciful. A relatively small number of people died even while the Gazans shot rockets for months. A merciless attack would have looked entirely different.”

      Wonder if you read this:

      or this:

      or this:

      or this:

      or this:

      I think that your unveiling is now complete. Coupled with your latest gruesome statement about the Nakba, you are exposed. Your idea of “mercy” is monstrous, and now you own it.

      • HarryLaw
        May 9, 2015, 4:49 pm

        “Never argue with stupid people[Zionist] trolls, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
        ― Mark Twain

      • JeffB
        May 10, 2015, 7:13 am


        The argument isn’t over cruel or even warcrimes. The claim was merciless. Much higher bar.

        As for “unveiling” I think you might need to get a grip.

    • amigo
      May 9, 2015, 12:18 pm

      ” Israel selects its policies by leaders who are elected. That’s representative democracy” Jeff Northridge

      This is classic Northridge twaddle.

      • just
        May 9, 2015, 12:29 pm

        It’s also what happens when you have an ethnocracy, a theocracy, an oligarchy, fascism, apartheid, and NO Constitution.

        “representative democracy” my foot!

    • amigo
      May 9, 2015, 3:25 pm

      Here is an article from Haaretz in aug 25th 2013 on Israel,s so called democracy.Now 18 months later democracy is Israel is non existent.

      “Democracy grants its subjects the rank of citizen by means of their vote. In exchange, the citizens must obey the law and the rules of the game. Once every four years, or fewer, they are asked to choose their rulers and give them legitimacy once again. As long as the voters do not take their representation too seriously, this is an excellent deal from the perspective of the regime, which is based on a majority and, in the absence of a constitution, can do almost anything it wishes. It can even sing nonsense, including analogies with “the Western democracies” regarding the so-called governability law and the electoral threshold.

      Our representative democracy never developed. On the contrary: It is dying. Democracy is disappearing in workplaces — in other words, the places where workers once chose their unions in the most central arena of their lives, where they earned their livelihood. Local government is entirely dependent on the government and the Arrangements Law. The army — a state within a state — is, of course, immune to any representation. Add to that the millions of subjects of the occupation, who have no representation (our “referendum” about their future is the most obvious expression of this rottenness), and you’ll get the master’s face of the state. A certain amount of power for the weak is “extortion,” like the government and the media call the political power of small minorities. Now, imagine a new Mizrahi party as an opposition to the ruling hegemony; with an electoral threshold of three or four percent, does it have a chance? “haaretz

      No pay wall.

      • JeffB
        May 10, 2015, 7:28 am


        You can find the same articles in most countries. Who is this “regime” that controls the government outside of the elected government? The regime in that article is the elected government, the government that represents the broad opinion of the Israeli population. The author just doesn’t like the broad opinion and so makes a bunch of assertions about what a “real democracy” would look like. These amount to opinions that are far less popular than the ones represented by the fake democracy… His primary particular complaint seems to be union democracies, I think he should take a look at America that while still a democracy has no democratic representation in the workplace almost anywhere.

        In most countries given either the influence of money or the unelected control from Brussels you can make a far better case that the democracy is a farce. In Israel because of the low population you get the wonderful effect that you see in many cities where almost all the citizens are only two steps removed from a Knesset member: a cousin of a friend for example. The Israeli population is polled on their opinions often with or without party identification. People’s political identity lines up pretty closely to their party and the percentages that vote for various parties. From there a negotiation happens and policy emerges quite openly and publicly.

        As for the choice of representatives: anyone can run and the parties have open primaries. The people who show up to primary elections choose the representatives not some secret elite group of rulers.

    • Rooster
      May 9, 2015, 7:50 pm

      JeffB: proof that Zionism extends Israel’s borders well into deNile.

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