Fern Sidman, INN NY Correspondent, reporting from Washington:
Republican Eric Cantor, the GOP majority leader in the House of Representatives, addressed the attendees of the annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.
Speaking of his immigrant roots and of his pride of being Jewish, Cantor told the audience that “America needs Israel as it is our most stable and loyal ally,” adding that “America must do everything in its power to protect Israel. It is okay to vilify Israel but it is not okay to scapegoat Israel.”
Cantor also spoke of the Iranian nuclear threat and said that “those that deal with Iran” will not be accepted.
He addressed the conflict between Israelis and Arabs and said that the root of the conflict is not the so-called 1967 lines (the 1949 armistice lines which defense experts have said would be indefensible), but rather the refusal of the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel. Israel wants to live in peace, said Cantor, but PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has to stop promoting hate and should come to the negotiating table. Until that happens, noted Cantor, there can be no peace, particularly with Hamas being part of the PA government.
Cantor noted that Franklin and Jefferson saw America as the new Israel and wanted to see the Israelites return to their ancestral homeland. Israel deserves America in reality, not just in rhetoric, he said.
Finally, said Cantor, now is the time to lead and not to follow, noting that this is essential for both the survival of Israel as well as for the future of America.