(AFP) – Dec 5, 2011
WASHINGTON — Republican White House hopefuls attacking President Barack Obama as having undermined US ties to Israel are "making everything up," Democratic Senator John Kerry charged Monday.
"The Republicans have a habit of not telling a lot of truth in presidential campaigns," he said, an obvious reference to his 2004 run for the White House, when conservatives assailed his Vietnam War service with charges contradicted by official US Defense Department records.
"The Republicans are making everything up. They make everything up. That doesn't mean that it's a reality," Kerry told AFP when asked about Republican assaults on Obama's handling of relations with Israel.
"The president has been as supportive, if not more supportive, than any president in American history."
Kerry, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Obama's September speech opposing the Palestinian effort to gain UN membership "was about as affirmative a speech as has ever been made about America's relationship with Israel."
Republicans have stepped up charges that Obama has shortchanged Israel's security by not doing enough to halt Iran's suspect nuclear program and pushing the staunch US ally too hard to return to peace talks with the Palestinians.
And Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have pressed Obama to fire the US ambassador to Belgium after he said that the Middle East conflict was partly to blame for anti-Semitism.
Republicans have seized on Obama's rocky relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and calls for Israel to cease settlements, seeking to increase their standing among Jewish voters and supporters of Israel in general.
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