Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele says President Obama’s speech was problematic because he appears to be backing away from the traditional U.S. relationship with Israel. Here’s his statement:
America must reach out to people throughout the Middle East, however we cannot think our dialogue is a zero sum game in which we gain new support only at the expense of our long-standing friendships. The U.S.-Israel relationship is tremendously important to both countries. Israel is a stable democracy in an unstable region, and is our strongest and most reliable ally in the Middle East.
“True respect is gained when America stands by its friends. When leaders in the Middle East see America distancing itself from its closest friends, it sends the wrong signal.”