John Kasich at AIPAC Policy Conference 2016
John Kasich at AIPAC Policy Conference 2016Reuters

Ohio Governor John Kasich was the first of three remaining Republican presidential candidates to address AIPAC's 2016 Policy Conference Monday night, and vowed his "unwavering" support for the State of Israel.

The address was largely unremarkable, with Kasich - who lags behind rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the polls - sticking to reliable pro-Israel talking points which resonated well with the audience, but provided no surprises.

Recounting his work to memorialize the Holocaust in Ohio, and listing his support for Israeli and Jewish causes - including the campaign to free Natan Sharansky - he emphasized his "firm and unwavering" support for the Jewish people.

"This legacy is one I will not only honor in my administration but will take active steps to strengthen and expand," he said of US-Israel ties.

"America's and Israel's interests are tightly intertwined, in spite of our differences from time to time."

Kasich particularly underlined his support for Israel's struggle against the nuclear deal with Iran, drawing loud applause when citing his support for measures to punish Iran for its "provocative" ballistic missile tests.

With an apparent veiled swipe at GOP front runner Donald Trump, Kasich also highlighted his experience in office.

"I don't need on the job training, I will not need to learn about the challenges facing this country and its allies in the Middle East," he declared, vowing to defeat Hezbollah, the Islamic State (ISIS) and Iran's aggressive foreign policy.

Kasich received further loud applause when vowing to fight the campaign "to condemn, isolate and delegitimize the State of Israel," and "rising attacks on Israel and Jewish students on our college campuses."

"I will use the full force of the White House to fight this scourge," he vowed.

"I have been mortified by the recent spate of attacks against Israeli civilians," he continued, blasting the Palestinian incitement which has facilitated the violence. "They are the outcome of calls for death that the Palestinian Authority and its forebearers have promoted for over 50 years."

The PA must recognize "Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state" and that "this violence is unacceptable."

Until that occurs, he said, the US's role under his administration would be to work towards "stability" in the region, by maintaining Israel's qualitative edge, while "working quietly to facilitate" peace talks.

GOP front runner Donald Trump and rival Ted Cruz are also set to address the AIPAC Conference later Monday night.