Cantor Statement On U.S.-Israel Relations

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Washington DC – House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks Tuesday, which appeared in the New York Times, that Israel may be “costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.”

“Israel is a democracy that has always made the sacrifices necessary for peace despite living under constant threats to their very existence. The true barrier to ending the Mideast conflict is the widespread Palestinian refusal to accept and to live alongside Israel as a Jewish state. While Israel continues its search for a reliable partner in peace, Palestinian terrorism is still celebrated in the West Bank and Gaza. Despite this reality, since day one the White House has applied a severe double standard that refuses to hold the Palestinians accountable for their many provocations. It makes one wonder where the responsible adults are in the administration?

The administration’s troubling policy of manufacturing fights with Israel to ingratiate itself with some in the Arab world is no way to advance the cause of Mideast peace.  What kind of message is sent to the world when our country appears to turn its back on key strategic allies who share our values?

“The list of grievances supposedly stoking the hatred of Islamic terrorists is endless and evolving. Before Al Qaeda used our support for Israel against us, Bin Laden’s main grievance was the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia and sanctions against Saddam’s Iraq – both of which no longer exist. The suggestion that terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan will lay down their weapons if we distance ourselves from Israel is blindingly naïve. We know this because it’s been tried before. For example, Russia has sided with Israel’s Arab enemies since the days of the Cold War, and today it condemns Israel at the U.N., sells arms to Israel’s arch-enemies Syria and Iran, and is attempting to block meaningful international sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. Did this stop Islamist suicide bombers from murdering 38 in an attack on two Moscow subway stations last month?

“With each passing day, more Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the deteriorating state of U.S.-Israel relations. This concern was expressed succinctly by a letter today from World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder to President Obama, who wrote, ‘Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of freedom and democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people. In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.’ I couldn’t agree more.

"The American people understand that Israel is a key strategic ally in the Middle East, one that we should stand with in our mutual struggle to prevent the spread of Islamic extremism and a nuclear Iran."

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