This is your chance to feel like a Washington insider!
These transcripts are not publicly available, and I was one of the only press people who managed to get in, so this is your one chance to check out what these two Congressional leaders from different sides of the aisle said. Enjoy!
House Democratic Majority Leader Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia spoke to AIPAC’s Capitol Club today.
From House Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor
“Now is not the time to be picking fights with Israel in what seems to be an attempt to curry favor with the Arab world. Now is the time when the United States must stand with Israel in the global struggle against the threats posed by radical Islam.”
“We must remember what happens when Americans and decent minded people everywhere fail to stand up to evil. The message to us is: we must do all we can to ensure the survival of the State of Israel. At a time like this, it is crucial to stress the message that a strong Israel is in the best interest of American national security.”
“Should any of us waver in our resolve, we must let the lessons of history propel us to action. If you deal with Iran, you are not welcome to deal with the United States. Our willingness to use force is on the table.”
‘We know well who our one true and reliable friend in the Middle East is. We know who stands with us in our fight against terrorism. Who wept at candlelight vigils when America was attacked on 9/11. And who sends teams of doctors to save lives in Haiti. In the same way, we also know who teaches their children to emulate suicide bombers. Who danced and tossed candy around on 9/11. And who names their schools and public squares after terrorists.”
“This is more than a Jewish cause or an Israeli issue. These are challenges to America. Israel’s security is synonymous with our own. People who point guns at Israel with murder in their eyes will next turn on us. Israel is a critically important strategic ally, who brings stability to a volatile region.”
From House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer
“Israel [is] the state where Jews entered into world history again like (the Biblical) ‘nation like all other nations.’ A state where Jews took up again after two millenia the precious burden of nationhood.”
“Like all nations, our relationship has its trials and tensions. The disagreements of the moment cannot and will not undo the bond of generations. We (Eric Cantor and I) are sending a letter signed by a large number of Members of Congress to the administation to send the message that there should be no confusion anywhere in the world that whatever differences there may be on policy, at the core, there is an unbreakable, unshakable bond between Israel and the United States.”
“Israel means this – for the first time in memory, Jews are responsible for their own safety. They have to beg no sovereign for their own lives. Now imagine life in Israel in two or three years, if that life is hanging on a button in a bunker in Tehran. I lived with mutually assured destruction [in the Cold War], but not with a religious fanatic at the other end, and not with a nuclear umbrella over terrorism.”
“Last month the international atomic agency told the world that Iran has enriched enough low-enriched uranium for two nuclear bombs. This cannot stand, it must not stand, it will not stand!”
“We can’t expect a change of heart from a regime that is founded in violence. But we can demand a change of behavior. Congress will soon take final action on sanctions to target the Iranian economy at its weakest point – refined petroleum. These sanctions will demonstrate the high cost of Iran’s self imposed isolation from the community of nations.”