Eric Cantor, the highest ranking Jewish legislator used the opportunity onstage at the AIPAC conference Monday night, to give voice to recent Republican criticism of President Obama's policy on Israel.
"Throughout my entire political life, I have never known a time where I have questioned America’s resolve and support for Israel. I have never questioned America’s historic support for the little guy against the bully. I have never questioned the role we play as protectors of liberty and defenders of justice. Until now," said Cantor.
"It is only recently where I have begun to worry. I worry that some of our nation’s leaders are complacent. I worry that some in Washington think we must retreat to our domestic politics and reduce focus overseas. I worry that in the pursuit of comity with Israel’s foes, some will seek distance. I worry that they indeed overlook the gift that is Israel," he added.
In spite of Hagel's appointment to head the pentagon, Cantor offered some indirect but stinging criticism on the nomination, indicating it harm the US's resolve in confronting the Iranian threat. "Iran is a direct and immediate threat to Israel, to our allies in the region and to the civilized world. But, some in Washington hold the view that Iran is all bluster. That Iran can be contained and negotiated with. But that impression is wrong. We need to be clear-eyed that the nuclear talks with Iran cannot be unending, and that they may fail. We need to recognize that military action against Iran may become necessary to protect America, Israel and our allies," Cantor asserted.
"America must be prepared to lead from the front. And the challenge should not be Israel’s alone to bear," he added.