Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor addressed the AIPAC policy conference yesterday afternoon after President Obama’s speech in the morning. The text of his remarks is posted here; video of the speech is posted in two parts here. It’s a speech that combines a little family history with a consideration of the bond between Israel and the United States as well as the true requisites of peace between the Arabs and the Israelis.
Here is the first passage that drew a standing ovation, and it is one that struck a chord with me as well:
Our strategic ties to Israel are important. But there’s something much deeper that binds our two nations. There’s something that Americans identify with on a gut level – something I see every time Steny Hoyer and I take Members to Israel.
When Members of Congress stand on the shores of the Sea of Galilee; when we listen to the words of the Sermon on the Mount; and when we walk the Stations of the Cross, the names and places that people read about in their Sunday school studies come alive right before their eyes.
It is emotional. It is profound. And to our Christian brethren among us, we salute you and appreciate your solidarity and support.
I’m quite sure this line is a tactful reproach of President Obama, and it has the additional advantage of being true: “It is not morally equivalent when the offenses of terrorists are equated with the defenses of Israel.” And there is no question at whom this passage was directed:
The following story illustrates Israel’s dilemma.
A Palestinian woman from Gaza arrives at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for lifesaving skin treatment for burns over half her body. After the conclusion of her extensive treatment, the woman is invited back for follow-up visits to the outpatient clinic. One day she is caught at the border crossing wearing a suicide belt. Her intention? To blow herself up at the same clinic that saved her life.
What kind of culture leads one to do that?
Sadly, it is a culture infused with resentment and hatred.
It is this culture that underlies the Palestinians’ and the broader Arab world’s refusal to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.
This is the root of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It is not about the ’67 lines.
Via Ironic Surrealism.