The highest-ranking Jewish member of Congress in history argued in an Israeli newspaper today that “the Obama Administration’s strategy of undercutting Israel’s negotiating position, and then setting unrealistic expectations for the Palestinians has tragically exacerbated the conflict” in the Middle East.
In his Haaretz op-ed, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) argues “Americans who care about Israel have particularly important reasons to support Governor Romney.”
Cantor said President Obama has muddled two issues dear to those who care for the Jewish state: the Mideast peace process and Iran’s growing nuclear program.
“Early in 2009, the Obama Administration needlessly broke ranks with Israel by discarding a previous agreement and calling for a moratorium on all settlement construction as a precondition for talks with the Palestinians – a condition that not even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had demanded. The unilateral demand to halt even natural settlement growth and construction in Jerusalem surprised Israelis and Palestinians alike, and perversely weakened both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, playing into Hamas’ irredentist demands and setting unrealistic expectations Abbas could never hope to meet,” wrote Cantor.
“The President doubled down on this error by calling for a solution based on Israel’s 1967 borders, playing into the extremists’ hands by setting a new floor for negotiations and further limiting Abbas’ room to maneuver. No wonder the beleaguered Palestinian leader refuses to negotiate with Israel and instead is pursuing unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood by the United Nations; President Obama has set the bar too high for a weakened Abbas to meet.”
Cantor also faulted Obama for trying to make nice with the mullahs in Tehran while hanging the Green Revolution out to dry.
“No one wants war, but the President’s advisors have undermined American diplomacy by constantly denigrating not only the United States’ military option, but also Israel’s,” he said. “The President may say that ‘all options are on the table,’ but the hard truth is that few in the region believe him.”