Dan Gilmore / Mar. 31, 2016

Democrats Accuse Israel of 'Human Rights Violations'

The letter seemed more like a smear of Israel than an honest inquiry.

A group of 10 U.S. lawmakers — all Democrats — penned a letter to the State Department asking it to investigate the governments of Egypt and Israel for human rights violations. The group wanted information into how the department was applying the Leahy Law to the two countries, as there have been claims that both governments have committed extrajudicial killings recently. The Leahy Law, named after Sen. Patrick Leahy, forbids State and the Department of Defense of assisting international military units that have violated human rights with impunity. Leahy was the only senator to sign the letter questioning Israel’s conduct.

The letter seemed more like a smear of Israel, equating it to the government of Egypt, than an honest inquiry. The State Department, while it said it was drafting a letter in reply, told the Washington Free Beacon it does not give aid to any country guilty of human rights violations. Similarly, Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the letter in a statement of his own: “The [Israeli Defense Forces] and the Israeli Police do not engage in executions. Israel’s soldiers and police officers defend themselves and innocent civilians with the highest moral standards against bloodthirsty terrorists who come to murder them. Where is the concern for the human rights of the many Israelis who’ve been murdered and maimed by these savage terrorists?” Unfortunately, a letter like the one sent by Leahy and gaggle only contributes to the alienation of Israel, the erosion of U.S. influence in the Middle East, and the further destabilization of the region.

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