US Congressional Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the highest-ranking Jew in Congress, led a group of 26 senior House Republicans to meet Israeli President Shimon Peres at his official Jerusalem residence, on Tuesday, according to an official statement.
Cantor opened the meeting by telling President Peres that the delegation had come to Israel to show the strength of American support for Israel and express the support of congress for Israel’s position.
President Peres addressed the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority due to restart Wednesday and the Iranian nuclear weapons program in his opening remarks.
“You came to Israel at a time when we must make tough decisions. Your presence here is important for us. The United States has both Democrats and Republicans but when it comes to Israel support is bipartisan. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians is not easy for either side – there is a long history and differences in expectation, but the moment requires difficult decision that will shape our future,” Peres said.
President Peres thanked the congressmen and women for the recent congressional decision to toughen sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.
“The US Congress has taken a strong stance with regards to Iran – the sanctions are important for the whole world in the struggle against Iran becoming a nuclear armed state and a center for terror. On behalf of the State of Israel, thank you – the support of the United States strengthens Israel on its path for peace,” he said.