Cantor Defends Israel
Culpeper Star Exponent
Allison Brophy Champion
After 34 days of fighting that left more than 900 people dead, a ceasefire took effect between the nation of Israel and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon Monday morning. The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the break in fighting Friday, establishing a fragile frame for peace between the historically warring neighbors.
Hours before the U.N. called for an end to the violence, U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor, R-Richmond, weighed in on the resolution during an interview Friday on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on Fox News.
Chief Deputy Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, Cantor - who is Jewish - remained unwavering in his support of Israel's right to remain on the attack.
"In looking at the language of the draft resolution, it seems it calls on Israel to cease any offensive operations. If you think about the larger picture, it was Israel that was attacked," Cantor, who represents Culpeper County, told interviewer David Asman. "Israel has to - in order to defend itself - go in and dismantle terrorist infrastructure."
U.N. Resolution 1701, on the other hand, called for the immediate end to Hezbollah hostilities, and "the immediate cessation by Israel of all offensive military operations."
"So again, I think it's very important we take a long look at this, and to ensure that we can allow Israel a victory over the terrorist Hezbollah group," Cantor said.
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In his TV interview Friday, Cantor said Israel was placed "in a defensive posture from the very beginning" when Hezbollah began launching rockets into northern Israel last month. He was also doubtful that U.N. forces in Lebanon would be successful in disarming Hezbollah.
"I am suspect, at best, I think I would say," Cantor said. "The fact is, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon has been in place for almost 28 years and has basically been unable to do anything in stopping a terrorist group from establishing itself in southern Lebanon in the last several years and allowing them to amass huge amounts of rockets and weapons."
The Virginia Congressman went on to commend Ambassador John Bolton, the United State's U.N. representative, for his understanding of the issues.
"I know he is an individual that gets it. Israel is fighting the same war that we are against terrorists," Cantor said. "I believe he'll do what he can to make sure that the resolution allows Israel the necessary flexibility to defend itself. The bottom line is, Israel has to have border security. It must be able to defend its borders against these incoming rocket attacks from terrorists."
He added, "I think we can count on Israel insisting on the ability to defend itself. And as far as I know, this White House, Ambassador Bolton, all the way up to the president, is very supportive of Israel's right to defend itself and the war against Hezbollah terrorists."
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