Reacting to President Obama’s comment in his 60 Minutes interview last night, when Obama referred to Israel as “one of our closest allies in the region,” House majority leader Eric Cantor criticized Obama for showing a lack of regard for Israel.
“That took me off guard,” Cantor said of Obama’s remark in a conference call with reporters organized by the Romney campaign, “because I think clearly most Americans would say Israel is undoubtedly our best ally in the region, the one who stands for the same things that we do, and that is, human progress, universal rights, rights of the minority, rights of free speech, and downright democracy and freedom.”
“Israel continues to find itself on the receiving end of harsh language by the president in White House,” Cantor added, “and I think as Governor Romney has said before, there is a somewhat of a continued pattern of throwing Israel under the bus when Israel stands as our closest ally.”
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton also criticized Obama’s comments on Israel. “President Obama recently characterized Israel’s concern about the prospect of a nuclear Iran as ‘noise,’ and, to add insult to injury, knocked Israel down a notch to simply ‘one of our closest allies in the region,’” Bolton said in a statement. “But the fact of the matter is that Israel is without a doubt our closest and most reliable ally in the region. Its concerns about an Iran armed with a nuclear weapon aren’t simply noise; they are central not only to self-preservation and security, but also to peace. These comments offer just the latest indication that President Obama doesn’t fully grasp the seriousness of the foreign-policy challenges facing our nation.”