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Cardin defends Schumer speech on Israel, urges public to listen to complete remarks

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Ben Cardin (D-Md.) defended Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) speech on Israel, saying the public should listen to his complete remarks rather than just focusing on his comments about leadership in Israel.

“I think people should listen to his entire speech. Senator Schumer’s speech came from his heart, what he believes is necessary for peace,” Cardin said in an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”

“He’s very clear about, Hamas needs to be eliminated, that there can be no peace in the Middle East for either the Palestinians or the Israelis with Hamas. The responsibility for what is happening there is clearly on Hamas. Israel has the total right to defend itself.”

Cardin said that Schumer’s remarks about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu being an “obstacle” to peace in the region were referring to how the country can move on after the war.

“He’s talking about how do we… move after the war? How do we get peace in the region? And he was very clear about the fact that you need security, you need an authority for the Palestinians that will provide security for the Palestinians and the Israelis, but you also need to have a pathway to two states living together in peace.”

“And I think he was very clear that it’s the Israelis, their system, need to give clear direction as to who they want to be their leaders,” Cardin added, about Schumer.

Asked whether he would call Netanyahu an obstacle to peace, Cardin said, “I think it’s up to the Israelis to determine their own leaders.”

“I recognize that we had challenges with the Netanyahu coalition prior to October 7. Real concerns that cause major division within Israel before October 7. There’s unity now because of the war. Let’s see what happens after the war,” he added.

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