Rep. Eric Cantor (VA) and Rep. Peter Roskam (IL), Co-Chairmen of the House Republican Israel Caucus, wrote the following op/ed for Politico today. Please see and excerpt of "A Chance to set the record straight":
Tuesday's White House summit between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provides an opportunity for the president to mend the rift his administration has helped create between the United States and Israel, our most strategic, and only democratic, ally in the volatile Middle East.
Members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, and observers worldwide, will be watching to see how this meeting compares with the White House's snub in March, that left Netanyahu, almost literally, hat in hand in the White House front hall.
This meeting allows the Obama administration to set the record straight and demonstrate the United States' strong support for Israel's right to defend itself in the May 31 flotilla incident — and also from the subsequent denunciations led by the U.N. Human Rights Council.
The Israeli Navy, enforcing an arms embargo against Hamas terrorists, was forced into a deadly conflict on May 31 off the Gaza coast by an assortment of Islamic extremists acting as humanitarian aid workers.
These activists, many of whom are members of the radical Islamic organization Insani Yardim Vakfi and support the Union for Good — recognized by Washington as a terrorist organization in 2008 — provoked the Israeli embargo in a premeditated strategy.
Before the ships set sail, Israel offered to help organize a land transfer of humanitarian goods into Gaza. This is standard practice for Israel — which imposes the naval blockade to ensure weapons are not smuggled into Gaza for use against Israel. In fact, over the last 18 months, more than a million tons of humanitarian supplies have entered Gaza from Israel.