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Ben Cardin Supports Continued Military Aid to Israel Despite Biden's Pause

 May 12, 2024

Amid a White House report on Israel's wartime conduct, Maryland Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin has expressed opposition to the Biden administration's pause on military aid

Cardin, who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, voiced his disagreement with President Biden's decision to potentially halt weapon shipments to Israel, a decision that follows the administration's pause of thousands of bombs destined for Israel earlier this week, as the Washington Times reports.

Report Raises Concerns but Finds No Legal Violations

The White House's findings have sparked debate over the continuation of U.S. military aid to Israel.

While the report suggests that there were likely instances in which international law was breached, it maintains that these did not amount to violations of International Humanitarian Law.

In response, Cardin emphasized the importance of continuing U.S. support for Israel's security. He asserts that maintaining military aid aligns with U.S. interests and supports the safety of the nation amidst its conflict with Hamas.

The senator's stance reflects his commitment to ensuring that military operations, especially in sensitive regions like Rafah, prioritize civilian safety and adhere to humanitarian principles.

Cardin Disagrees with Biden on Weapons Shipment Pause

President Biden's decision to reconsider further weapons shipments came after reports of Israeli military actions in Rafah, a city that has become a refuge for over a million Palestinians since the conflict began in October.

"While the most recent report regarding Israel under the NSM-20 has raised concerns, I agree with its assessment that Israel has not violated International Humanitarian Law and that military assistance to support Israel’s security remains in the U.S. interest and should continue," said Cardin.

His position directly opposes the temporary hold put by President Biden, emphasizing a divergence in approaches towards handling the delicate balance of military support and human rights considerations in conflict zones.

Humanitarian Considerations in Military Operations

Cardin has been vocal about the need for careful planning and humanitarian considerations in military operations involving Israel and Hamas.

"Going into Rafah without a credible plan to deal with the humanitarian situation is not the right way," he remarked, stressing the importance of civilian protection.

"Any operation must take all measures to protect civilian lives. There must be safe passage for innocent civilians currently displaced inside Rafah," Cardin emphasized. This underscores the senator's prioritization of civilian safety amid military tactics.

As the conflict continues, Cardin's support for ongoing military aid to Israel, despite potential breaches of international law, remains a point of contention within U.S. foreign policy circles.

Debate Continues Over U.S. Military Aid to Israel

The ongoing debate regarding U.S. military support for Israel, especially in the wake of potentially pausing further arms shipments, highlights broader issues concerning the U.S.'s role and responsibilities in international conflicts.

The nuances of this debate center around balancing strategic security interests with adherence to international norms and laws, particularly in conflict zones where civilian populations are significantly affected.

In conclusion, Sen. Ben Cardin’s stance on continuing military aid to Israel, despite the White House report's concerns, showcases the complex dynamics of U.S. foreign policy.

His disagreement with President Biden's cautious approach emphasizes differing views within U.S. leadership on how to best navigate the delicate intersection of national security and human rights in international conflict management.