Cantor-led GOP delegation to Israel undermines U.S. policy on settlements.

cantor-ericPresident Obama has made clear that, as part of his plan to achieve a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Israelis should cease creating or expanding settlements in the West Bank (a position that has been official U.S. policy since 1967). Israeli officials have expressed displeasure with this demand and last Sunday, Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem so a Jewish family could move in. The U.N., the U.S., and many E.U. states strongly condemned the evictions. However, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and many of his GOP colleagues are in Israel this week undermining U.S. policy by not only offering support for Israeli settlement expansion but for the East Jerusalem evictions specifically:

Cantor said that instead of focusing on issues such as Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, Obama should concentrate on “the primary issue of import … and that is the existential threat that Iran poses not only to the state of Israel but to the United States.” […]

Cantor and others supported Israel’s handling of the eviction of two Arab families from a house in east Jerusalem earlier this week, a move criticized by the European Union and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t think we, in America, would want another country telling us how to implement and execute our laws,” Cantor said.

It’s not just the Obama administration that wants a settlement freeze, the Israelis themselves committed to one in the Bush administration’s 2003 Road Map. “Maybe it’s too much to ask Cantor and his colleagues to recognize the injustice and indecency of Israeli policy toward Jerusalem’s non-Jewish residents,” the Wonk Room’s Matt Duss writes. “But it shouldn’t be too much to expect them not to go abroad and provide cover for it.”