Kasich Offers Alternative Pro-Israel Policy at AIPAC
The U.S. cannot be “neutral” in defending our allies, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich told the 18,000 attendees at AIPAC’s annual policy conference at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., on Monday.
“We cannot be ‘neutral’ in defending our allies,” Kasich said. “We must be counted on to stand by and invest in our friends, instead of abusing them and currying favor with our enemies.”
“The American friends of Israel are not fair weather friends. They recognize the strategic hinge with Israel, and that America’s and Israel’s interests are tightly intertwined – despite our inevitable disagreements from time to time,” he added.
Kasich presented himself as the candidate in this presidential race with the deepest and most far-reaching foreign policy and national security experience.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Republican presidential hopeful stressed that if the Palestinians truly want peace with Israel, they “cannot continue to promote a culture of hatred and death, and “We must make it clear that we will not tolerate such behavior.”
According to Kasich, there is no prospect for a permanent peace until the Palestinian Authority “and their friends Hamas and Hezbollah” are prepared to take real steps to live in peace with Israel and “recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” He further promised not to force “a sovereign nation – our friend Israel – to do damage to its own vital national interests. And I am not going to let outside pressure dictate U.S. national security policy either.”
Kasich also reiterated his most recent call to “suspend” the Iran nuclear deal, following Iran’s recent ballistic missile tests. “These tests were both a violation of the spirit of the nuclear deal and provocations that can no longer be ignored,” the Ohio Governor said. “You can be assured that, in a Kasich Administration, there will be no delusional agreements with self-declared enemies.”
Kasich pledged to reach a bipartisan national security policy that “will incorporate Israel as the bedrock partner for our mutual security in the Middle East” and that together, “we will combat violence incited in Israel itself, and in its eternal capital, Jerusalem.”
“I want you to know that the U.S. partnership with our ally Israel will not only endure, but will flourish once again as a result of what we will say and what we will do in my Administration,” he assured the pro-Israel crowd.