House Majority Leader: Palestinians Need to Prove They ‘Deserve’ Statehood

Condemns Palestinian 'Resentment' Over Occupation

Speaking at the Jewish Reform Movement conference in Maryland, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R – VA), lashed the notion of a Palestinian state, while condemning the Palestinians for what he called a “culture of resentment.”

Cantor went on to praise Israel, saying that “if Palestinians want to live in a state of their own they must demonstrate they are worthy of a state.” He did not make it clear what makes people worthy of statehood.

The Palestinian issue has become a major one in the Republican Party primaries recently, after Newt Gingrich insisted that they were an “invented” people with no right to a state, and other candidates lashed him for making the comments without first getting permission from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Cantor’s comments appear aimed at cashing in on what many Republicans see as a ticket to winning more Jewish votes: denouncing the Palestinians as a matter of course more than a matter of any particular issue.

Cantor went on in his comments to condemn the “so-called Arab Spring,” insisting that the pro-democracy movements across the Middle East “brought disappointment and Islamism” and that they “present challenges for interests to the US.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.