At AIPAC, Cantor Calls For More ‘Clarity’ In US Policy To Israel

Republican operatives want the party to attack President Obama on his foreign policy toward Israel, and in a Monday afternoon speech to the powerful AIPAC, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) portrayed US policy in the region as lacking in clarity. An excerpt from Cantor’s speech:

[W]e have to transition from confusion to clarity in the Middle East. A major source of confusion is: Where is the leadership? Who is leading from the front with a finger pointing in the right direction rather than a finger pointing in the wind? America needs to be a compass, not a weathervane, in the Middle East.

Even many of Israel’s adversaries are clamoring for clarity. They fear Iran’s efforts to foment instability and extremism in the region more than they fear Israel, as I found out on my recent visit to countries in the Gulf. They want a balance of power in the Middle East, not an unbalanced power like Iran.

America’s role is not to put its hand on the scale and balance it against Israel. America’s role is to put its fist on the scale to weigh down the terrorism, fanaticism and anti-Semitism of Iran and its proxies.

Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress, never specifically mentioned the President in the speech, and mostly offered up a broad foreign policy vision for Israel and the Middle East.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is poised to deliver what his office bills as a “major policy address on Iran” at at AIPAC on Monday night. The speeches dovetail with the perennial GOP goal of chipping off Jewish voters from the Democratic Party.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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