Cantor: Set Mideast policies in ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Christian Zionists that U.S. policies in the Middle East must be "firmly grounded" in Judeo-Christian principles.

"Reaching out to the Muslim world may help in creating an environment for peace in the Middle East, but we must insist as Americans that our policies be firmly grounded in the beliefs of the Judeo-Christian tradition upon which this country was founded," said Cantor (R-Va.), the House minority whip and the only Jewish Republican in Congress, in a speech to the Christians United For Israel annual conference in Washington.

Cantor’s 10-minute speech mostly focused on the importance of U.S. support for Israel, and the threats to the Jewish state from Iran and terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah. He told the group that "now, more than ever, it is vital you’re here, at a critical moment in history."

"Critics say the stumbling block" to peace in the Middle East "is settlements or Jerusalem or refugees," Cantor said. "We all know the real stumbling block to peace is posed by those who vehemently deny the nation of Israel’s historical right to the land of Zion."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to deliver a message via satellite Tuesday to the more than 4,000 delegates, and Israeli U.S. Ambassador Michael Oren and CUFI founder and national chairman Pastor John Hagee will address the group that evening.

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