Kevin Zeese Challenges Rep. Cardin on Israel

"Time’s glory is to unmask falsehood and bring truth to light."

— William Shakespeare

In an action unprecedented in Maryland politics, Kevin Zeese, an Independent candidate in Maryland for the U.S. Senate, has demanded that an incumbent congressman, who has close ties to the powerful Israel Lobby, break his silence on Israeli wrongdoing. In one of his four “Open Letters” to Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD), dated July 17, 2006, Zeese requested that the “ardent supporter” of Israel end “his sin of silence" and speak out about "the brutal terrorist attacks by Israel on civilians in Lebanon and Gaza." [1] A scholarly report, the "Harvard Study," revealed that the Israel Lobby has exercised "unmatched power" over U.S. foreign policy, which hasn’t been in our "national interest." [2]

Rep. Cardin, whose political career dates back to the reign of the late political boss Irv Kovens, is presently seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate in the September primary. He has been in Congress for close to 20 years representing the 3rd District, which includes a big slice of Baltimore City. I doubt if he has ever had a serious opponent, like the energetic, issues-oriented Zeese.

Zeese, an Independent candidate for U.S. Senate, has been endorsed by the Populist, Green and Libertarian Parties. His name will be on the ballot for the Tuesday, November 7, 2006 General Election. Close to 19 percent of Maryland electorate is registered as other than a Republican or a Democrat. Zeese is on record opposing the Iraqi War and spotlighting the Far Right Israeli supporters who want the U.S. to attack Iran. [1] Here is part of what Zeese wrote to Rep. Cardin on July 17th, only five days after Cardin’s favorite country, Israel, had launched its proportionally unjustified and merciless invasion of Lebanon: "The violence threatens to escalate [in Gaza and Lebanon] if Israel is not told it is violating many laws, and a pro-Israel messenger, like you, would be an excellent messenger." Zeese then went on to point out to Rep. Cardin how Israel is violating U.S. law by using American-made weapons, given to Israel by America, for reasons other than "legitimate self-defense…The intensive bombing of Beirut and other Lebanese cities, and the killing of civilians are not legitimate acts of self-defense." Zeese continued that Israel is also "violating UN Resolutions…and International law by engaging in collective punishment of civilians in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 33. Collective punishment is a war crime. A cease fire," he said, "is needed immediately."

Zeese also sharply criticized Rep. Cardin for not speaking out about the plight of the 25,000 Americans, who were trapped in Lebanon when the war broke out. Some of them had complained that Israel had prevented them from "leaving a battle zone." He asked Rep. Cardin: "Why the silence when Israel is threatening U.S. citizens? At least, speak out for Americans civilians-or do you represent Israel before you represent Americans?"

On July 20, 2006, Rep. Cardin voted in the House of Representatives to give Israel’s bloodstained regime a "green light" for its rampage through Lebanon. The invasion has killed over 900 Lebanese, wounded 3,200 and left an estimated one million of them homeless. Most of its major cities: Beirut, Sidon and Tyre have been pulverized with air strikes by the IOF. Lebanon has no air force to defend itself. The massacre at Qana by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) should be on Cardin’s conscience, too, as well as on the other members of the U.S. Congress. [3] Just before the slaughter at Qana, the extreme Rightist, Olmert, was quoted as saying that nobody "dies from being uncomfortable." As I write, the IOF is pushing into Southern Lebanon, with over 10,000 troops, attempting to seize control of the Litani River, a critical source of water for Israel’s expansionist ambitions. [4] Despite their numerical advantage and superior military arms, however, the IOF is facing defiant resistance from the Hezbollah fighters. About 68 Israelis have died so far in the conflict.

Zeese, in his July 11th letter to Rep. Cardin, along with two other letters, which dealt with Occupied Palestine, condemned the Israeli invasion of Gaza and the destruction there of homes, power plants, government buildings, along with the targeted assassinations of individuals by the IOF. He added: "Israel is now preventing Palestinian Americans from entering the Palestinian territories. Surely, you do not approve of Americans being forbidden to travel to their home country? Further, Israel is walling off Bethlehem, the town of Jesus’ birth, as a result it is very difficult for Christians to visit this important town that is the birthplace of Christianity. Surely, this is not something you condone?" It is fair to say that Occupied Gaza, with a population of 1.4 million, as a result of the Israeli invasion and constant shelling by the IOF, is in a state of near total humanitarian collapse. [5]

Meanwhile, more Americans are beginning to view Israel as the problem. Here are some reasons for that change in attitude: Israel’s deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on July 8, 1967; its ruthless killing of the peace activist, Rachel Corrie on March 16, 2003; its extracting $140 billion from our national treasury; and its letting loose the Zionist fanatic, Jonathan Pollard to steal our military secrets. These actions all stick in the throats of many in this country; along with the Neocons’ scheme to destabilize the Middle East. [6] Some are coming to realize the U.S. didn’t have any enemies in the Islamic World, until the state of Israel was created in 1948. [7] And, many more would like someone to explain to them why those five Israelis were celebrating, over in New Jersey, while the WTC’s towers were collapsing on 9/11? [8]

One politician of Jewish origins, who has dared to openly criticize Israel’s conduct is Jonathan Tasini. He is running as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate, in New York, against the hawkish incumbent, Sen. Hillary Clinton. Tasini has not only derided Israel for its brutal occupation of Gaza, but for its excesses, too, in Lebanon. [9]

On July 20, 2006, candidate Zeese, in the matter of Lebanon, asked Rep. Cardin these questions: "How many Bin Ladens is Israel, with U.S. acquiescence — and the silence of U.S. politicians — creating? How many Americans will die because of the support of the United States for Israel in reaction to its abusive behavior?" Zeese also emphasized to Rep. Cardin that Israel’s targeting of civilians in Lebanon and its extreme actions have been condemned by both the Vatican and the European Union. The Vatican said: "The right of defense on the part of a state does not exempt it from its responsibility to respect international law, particularly regarding the safety of civilian population." [10]

At press time, Rep. Cardin’s office submitted this two sentence reply to Zeese: "Ben Cardin firmly believes Israel has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks. He’s proud to stand with the Israeli people during this difficult time." Obviously, this curt, cheer-leading type of response is totally inadequate under the circumstances. It doesn’t begin to answer the substantial questions raised. Zeese is doing a tremendous service for the Republic by calling for a series of debate with Rep. Cardin on Israel’s off-the-wall military behavior, which can’t be sustained under any kind of "just war" theory. [11]

Finally, Occupied Gaza and Lebanon are presently suffering under the terror bombings of the IOF. [12] Israel needs to be reigned in, immediately! Its reckless conduct is also creating more enemies for America. Marylanders must insist that Rep. Cardin get off his high horse and answer fully all the questions raised by the Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate – Kevin Zeese. The Middle East, thanks to a militant Israel and a complicit Bush-Cheney Gang, is only one errant missile attack away from igniting WWIII.






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[12]. See, satellite images from Geo/Eye of the IOF’s bombing of a Christian section of Beirut-before and after photos: