Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent the following letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today urging her stand with Israel in the United Nations and redirect Palestinian leaders back to direct negotiations.
The text of the letter follows.
February 18, 2011
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
I am increasingly concerned that the United States is working on a compromise resolution at the United Nations that would comment on the legitimacy of Israeli settlement activity in order to avoid a veto at the UN Security Council.
As recent events in the Middle East demonstrate, the U.S. is often conflicted between support for our strategic priorities and a partner who fully shares our values. Such is not the case for one and only one country in the region - Israel. It is wrong to allow the Palestinians and other Arab leaders to inject their agenda on settlements into the UN. The correct forum is direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has long called for direct talks "anytime and anywhere, without preconditions."
I urge you to use all available tools at your disposal, including veto power, to prevent this UN Security Council action. We cannot allow the UN to divide the United States and Israel, particularly not at a time of such upheaval and uncertainty in the Middle East. Allies must stand together and we must do all that is possible to protect our shared values and joint national interests.