JERUSALEM, Israel - Members of a delegation of 25 U.S. congressmen visiting Israel said the Obama administration's policy on Israel is misguided.
The Obama administration is placing too much emphasis on the issue of settlements and far too little on the threat of Iran's nuclear program, according to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., who is leading the one-week solidarity mission to the Jewish state.
Cantor said he's "concerned about what the White House has been signaling of late" and about the absence of a clear stand against Iran.
"I don't know what is driving the focus on settlements, but one of the messages we're delivering is that priorities should be focused on the existential threat that Iran poses to Israel, as well as to the United States," Cantor said.
The congressmen are meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and visiting some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
Following a meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah, Cantor said the one-hour session left him doubting the PA's sincerity about reaching a peace accord with Israel.
Fayyad spent most of the hour talking about his contributions to economic reforms in the PA, Cantor said.
When asked about recognizing Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, Cantor said Fayyad "did not answer with too much clarity."
The delegation also expressed support of Israel's decision earlier this week to evict Arab squatters from Jewish-owned property in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. The decision was based on a ruling by the Supreme Court.
"I don't think we, in America, would want another country telling us how to implement and execute our laws," Cantor said.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the decision, calling it a "very regrettable action."
The Obama administration has continued to pressure the Israeli government to freeze all settlement activity, essentially ignoring statements by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other government ministers.
Source: YNet news