Rep. Eric Cantor, R-V.A., House Republican Whip, issued a response to Israel's raid of a Turkish-sponsored flotilla.
The events of the last 48 hours are tragic and serve as the latest warning sign that all is not well in the Middle East. As information continues to filter in, I urge the President and his administration to continue to gather all the facts, and if necessary, to veto any biased U.N. resolutions reining in Israel’s right to defend itself.
Israel remains a critical strategic ally and the only democracy in the Middle East. The United States stands with Jerusalem in its effort to ensure the safety and security of its citizenry. We can’t forget why the blockade exists in the first place: to deny Hamas the weaponry and raw materials it needs to continue its rocket attacks in Israel, killing innocent people.
Before predictably rushing to level hyperbolic accusations at Israel, it’s important for the United Nations to consider all the facts surrounding this incident. The reality is that the so-called “humanitarian aid” flotilla steered into an internationally recognized Israeli-Egyptian military blockade of Gaza in an effort to provoke Israel. The flotilla’s own spokeswoman announced that her organization is not a humanitarian group, rather a mission intended to break the blockade of Gaza, and that’s exactly why the ships rejected Israel’s instructions to dock. The truth is that where humanitarian needs exist, the Israelis ensure that food and medicine are brought into Gaza.
There’s a reason why seven of the eight ships were boarded peacefully and without any injuries, while the Mavi Marmara ship descended into violence. The question that should be asked is, "what is that reason?"