Rep. Cantor Pledges to BiBi: GOP to Keep ‘Check’ on Obama

November 12, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)—-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is wasting no time, cozying up to the neoconservative Republican majority in the House. On the eve of a scheduled trip to the U.S. to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, over 1,000 new settlements were announced in the annexed territory of East East Jerusalem. President Obama and the State Department condemned the settlements as unhelpful to peace talks with the Palestinians, but Netanyahu defiantly responded that “Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel.” The night before his scheduled meeting with Clinton, in a highly unusual and unprecedented move, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), soon to be the House majority leader, met with Netanyahu with no other U.S. lawmakers in attendance. Afterwards, Cantor’s office released a statement, suggesting he pledged to the Israeli Prime Minister he would use the power of his Republican majority to undermine the foreign policy of the Obama administration.

The Politico writes:

“Last night, Netanyahu met in New York for over an hour with incoming House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is set to become the highest ranking Jewish member of Congress in history. The meeting took place at New York’s Regency Hotel, and included no other American lawmakers besides Cantor. Also attending on the Israeli side were Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren, and Netanyahu’s National Security Advisor Uzi Arad.”

In a later readout summary, Cantor’s office made a statement that BiBi was assured that the GOP would act as a “check” on Obama’s policies on Israel, Iran and the Palestinians.

“Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington,” the readout continued. “He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other.” […]

“Veteran observer of U.S.-Israeli relations Ron Kampeas said he found that statement “an eyebrow-raiser.” “I can’t remember an opposition leader telling a foreign leader, in a personal meeting, that he would side, as a policy, with that leader against the president,” Kampeas wrote at JTA’s blog…”

The next day, despite meeting for more than seven-hours, Clinton and Netanyahu were not able to find a way forward to restart the stalled Middle East peace talks.

As long as Israel continues to violate its 2003 agreement to place a moratorium on Jewish settlements, peace with the Palestinians seems nearly impossible.

And with the Republicans offering assurances to Netanyahu they will support him against their own President and the Secretary of State, there is little chance of peace and the voiltale situation with Iran has suddenly become more dangerous.


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