McCain Visits Israel's Holocaust Memorial

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - In the visitors' book at Jerusalem's Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial, presidential hopeful Senator John McCain wrote, "I am deeply moved; never again."

McCain, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-S.C., arrived Tuesday for a two-day visit, which began at Yad VaShem.

Afterward, the senators met with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

"Iran is not solely Israel's problem," Peres told the delegation. "The combination of terror, nuclear capabilities and irresponsible leadership poses a danger to the entire world," he said.

Later in the day, McCain shared his views on the region's Islamic terror groups, Hamas and Hezbollah, with The Jerusalem Post.

"If Hamas Hezbollah succeed here, they are going to succeed everywhere -- not only in the Middle East, but everywhere. Israel isn't the only enemy," said McCain.

"They are dedicated to the extinction of everything that the US, Israel and the West believe and stand for," he said.

The Republican senator from Arizona said he doesn't believe the US should dictate policy to Israel, but he is personally against speaking with Hamas.

"Someone is going to have to answer the question to me of how you're going to negotiate with an organization dedicated to your extinction," McCain said.

"I really think we should understand that the US and Israel are partners, Israel is not a client of the United States. If you're partners, then you don't dictate what you think the terms of the survival of a nation should be," he said.

Palestinian Rocket Fire

Speaking about Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, McCain said he doesn't have a solution, but he respects Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as "one of the great military people" he has known.

"I can tell you that I believe if rocket attacks came across the border of the United States of America, the American people would probably demand pretty vigorous actions in response. I think I know my constituency in the state of Arizona," McCain said. "They would be pretty exercised if rockets came across the southern border," he said.

Iran's Nuclear Arms Program

Regarding Iran, McCain said the Islamic regime was undoubtedly pursuing a nuclear armament program.

"I think Iran is a threat to the region," he said, pointing out that the Iranians were arming and training terrorists and sending them to Iraq and supporting Hezbollah.

"At the end of the day, we can still not afford to have Iran with nuclear weapons," he said. "We know they have ambitions not just aimed at the State of Israel," but at the "destabilization of the entire region upon which the United States' national security interests rest."

The Gaza Strip

In a meeting Tuesday with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, McCain said the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip makes a peace agreement impossible.

Senator Lieberman told Livni that US senators were committed to America's alliance with Israel.

"We are all targets of those extremists," Lieberman said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news, Haaretz

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