The Blog

Eric Cantor: 'It Is Not About the '67 Lines'

11:13 AM, May 23, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Just three days after the earthquake in Haiti last year, Dr. Merin was there helping save lives. And this year, his unit treated the wounded in remote areas hardest hit by Japan's deadly tsunami.

No question, Israel joins America in leading the way to save lives and help feed the world.

Yet today the two-thousand-year-old dream of the state of Israel is in jeopardy. There is no other nation on earth so routinely denied its right to exist and threatened with destruction.

Recent developments in the region have moved Iran out of the headlines, but it is undeniable: the specter of a nuclear Iran looms larger than ever.

We must never take our eye off Iran. And that's why Congress will soon pass the bipartisan Iran Threat Reduction Act, making it official U.S. policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Plain and simple, if you do business with Iran, you cannot do business with America.

Meanwhile, during this Arab Spring, we all hope that freedom will take a leap forward in the Middle East. And we will do everything we can to support institutions of democracy and civil society.

Yet the truth is, there is much uncertainty.

However, there is one thing for certain: America must do everything in its power to keep Israel strong and secure.

The longstanding anti-Israel, anti-Semitic vitriol persists. But the world must no longer turn a deaf ear. It's time for America to lead.

To the emerging governments of the Middle East, America must clearly state:

It is not okay to vilify Israel.

It is not okay to demonize Jews.

And it's time to stop scapegoating Israel.

Nearly 7,000 miles away, Israel fights the same war we do. We share a common enemy in Iran and its terrorist proxies who seek nuclear weapons.

So, my message to you this afternoon is this: If Israel goes, we all go.

In order for us to win this great struggle, we must have the courage to see the world not as we wish it to be, but as it truly is.

It is not morally equivalent when the offenses of terrorists are equated with the defenses of Israel.

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.

And until Israel's enemies come to terms with this reality, a true peace will be impossible.

And the reality, as we say in Hebrew, is “Ahm Yisrael Chai: The people of Israel live. And what they want is to live in peace.

If the Palestinians want to live in peace in a state of their own, they must demonstrate that they are worthy of a state.

To Mr. Abbas, I say:

Stop the incitement in your media and your schools.

Stop naming public squares and athletic teams after suicide bombers.

And come to the negotiating table when you have prepared your people to forego hatred and renounce terrorism - and Israel will embrace you.

Until that day, there can be no peace with Hamas. Peace at any price isn't peace; it's surrender.

All of us here today are heirs to a rich tradition of Zionism that has its roots in America's founding.

The colonists, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, saw themselves as a New Israel crossing to the Promised Land.

I have the great privilege of holding James Madison's seat in the Congress. He spent a year at Princeton learning to speak Hebrew.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 18 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers