Israel feud will hurt US national security: top lawmaker


WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama must move to defuse a bitter diplomatic feud with Israel and pursue a Middle East “peace on Israel’s terms,” one of his top critics in the US Congress said Tuesday. “This administration is doing things that I think jeopardize our national security because they are playing such hardball with our ally in the region,” said Representative Eric Cantor, the number two House Republican. “Peace is what we are about in this country and we’re about trying to facilitate that, but it should be peace on Israel’s terms,” he said in a breakfast with reporters to discuss the dispute. Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, suggested Democrats could pay a political price for the row in November mid-term elections, saying that it fed some voters’ concerns first expressed in the 2008 campaign that Obama would insufficiently back Israel. “I do think that fear is being realized. People are very disappointed, because how do you treat your closest ally like this?” he said. Cantor, who visited the Palestinian territories in August, said he had spoken late Monday with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to stress that he was “very worried about the signal that this is sending” around the world.


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