Israel has loomed large for Republican Senators opposing the nomination of their former colleague Chuck Hagel to be US Defense Secretary. Among other things, they question his commitment to Israel's security.
On the second stop of his three-nation foreign tour, Mitt Romney found himself walking back remarks that seemed to indicate he endorsed a pre-emptive Israeli strike on Iran. A day later, he was on the defensive again after he offended Palestinians with comments about their poverty.
While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is cautioning against believing anything that Iranians say, and Israeli-Iranian radio host wants Israel to hear more Iranian voices. He's hosted a radio show for 50 years that encouraged regular Iranians to call in.
"There's no difference between an attack that ends in murder and one that ends in a serious injury," Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said. "In both cases the homes of the terrorists must be demolished."
Israeli officials have criticized a reconciliation deal between the rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas. Under the agreement, an interim Palestinian government will be formed and a date fixed for elections. Matthew Bell reports.
Mitt Romney spent the weekend in Israel, where he received an enthusiastic welcome from the Israeli leadership. But critics said Prime Minister Netanyahu's praise for the GOP presidential candidate crossed a dangerous line and threatened to strain Israel's relationship with the Obama administration.