WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's speech to the Muslim world on Thursday faced mixed reaction abroad - and a very clear directive at home from Republicans and conservatives: The United States cannot ruin its relationship with Israel.
Speaking in Cairo, Egypt, the president took on the heated and controversial Palestinian-Israeli conflict by endorsing a two-state solution and urging compromise between "two peoples with legitimate aspirations."
The United States, he said, "does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."
Those Jewish settlements are spread throughout the Palestinian-controlled West Bank. Israel maintains the settlements are needed, while Palestinians say they are an obstacle to the peace process.
Calling America's "strong bond" with Israel "unbreakable," he said, "It is based upon cultural and historical ties and the recognition that the aspiration for a Jewish homeland is rooted in a tragic history that cannot be denied."
House Minority Leader John Boehner on Thursday blasted Obama's approach to the Israeli-Palestinian question.
"He seemed to ... place equal blame on the Israelis and the Palestinians. I have concerns about this," the Ohio Republican said. "The Israelis have the right to defend themselves."
Boehner's Republican colleague, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, added that "there was a sense in here of a moral equivalency between those who are driving for a Palestinian state and the state of Israel."