Washington (CNN) - Hillary Clinton has been upfront about her support for Israel's recent military operations in Gaza. And her outspokenness is infuriating pro-Palestinian supporters in the United States.
Since Israel kicked off Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in early July, Clinton has strongly and repeatedly said she backs Israel's right to defend itself. She stepped up that message in a recent interview with The Atlantic, in which she charged Hamas for "stage-managing" the conflict to engender sympathy.
Davenport, Iowa (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul tried to clarify his position Tuesday on U.S. foreign aid to Israel, saying he strongly supports sending money to the country but added he believes Israel will be better off without foreign assistance in the long run.
“I've spent the last four years trying to put conditions on aid to people who hate us and burn our flag,” the Kentucky Republican said. “I've also talked about that every country ultimately would be better off to be independent.”
Omaha, Nebraska (CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul denied Monday that he had ever proposed legislation that would halt U.S. foreign aid to Israel, despite previously calling for an end to foreign aid for all countries.
“I haven’t really proposed that in the past,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters when asked if he still stood by his call to stop all foreign aid, given the unrest in Israel and Gaza.
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been blasting the Obama administration for what he called “second-guessing” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over recent clashes in Gaza.
“We need to be standing up with Israel, sending a strong message to those in the Middle East that would attack this democracy that we are their ally and they can count on us,” Perry told CNN’s Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” on Sunday.
Despite recent public praise from Netanyahu for the United States, Perry insisted the Obama administration has sent mixed messages during efforts to create calm in the region.
“I think that there have been messages sent both publicly and privately that have not been strong in their support of Israel,” Perry said. “I don't understand why this administration would criticize Israel for trying to protect their citizens and their country from a group who have clearly stated that they will not be satisfied until Israel is wiped off the face of the Earth.”
(CNN) – Even as the Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv, two U.S. officials say the facts on the ground in Israel are the same as they were before the FAA freeze was put into place.
A State Department official says, "The circumstances in Tel Aviv from 72 hours ago are no different than the circumstances now."
(CNN) – A combative Michael Bloomberg told CNN on Wednesday the United States erred in banning airline flights to Israel after a Hamas rocket landed near its main airport earlier this week.
The former New York mayor flew overnight to Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv where he was personally met and embraced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu.
(CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry raised eyebrows Sunday following comments, caught on an open mic, that left some wondering whether he was criticizing Israeli assurances that its ground offensive in Gaza would be limited?
Kerry's comments occurred between multiple television interviews. He was heard in a phone conversation with a State Department deputy, Jonathan Finer, discussing the deaths of Israeli soldiers killed overnight.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN Sunday he may travel to the region.
"I believe the President is asking me to go over there in very short order to work on the issue of a cease-fire," he told CNN's "State of the Union."
"Israel is under siege by a terrorist organization that has seen fit to dig tunnels and come through those tunnels with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs, prepared to try to capture Israeli citizens and take them back to hold them hostage. No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of rockets your way," Kerry said.
Washington (CNN) - When Jon Stewart gave Hillary Clinton a career aptitude test on the 'Daily Show' Tuesday night, her answers alluded to a presidential bid - and she touched on the disintegration of a Middle East cease-fire she negotiated two years ago.
The former Secretary of State, Senator, First Lady and Cabinet member told the Comedy Central host that she wants a home office.
"Do you have a favorite shape for that home office? Would you like it to have corners?" he asked her.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John McCain said Sunday the violence roiling the Middle East has likely never been worse, as rockets fall in Israel and Gaza, residents flee, warning sirens blare and the death toll rises.
"I would argue that given conditions in the Middle East, this might be more dangerous than any time in the past," the Arizona Republican told CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." "Not only conditions domestically, within Israel, but also the fact that Egypt is really not playing the role they traditionally have, countries like Qatar and others that could play a role."