July 27th, 2012
02:40 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - The day before Mitt Romney makes a highly publicized trip to Israel, President Barack Obama on Friday signed a bill passed by Congress designed to increase security ties with the Jewish state.
Both the timing of Friday's event and the presence of TV cameras opened the White House to accusations of political maneuvering in a presidential election year.
Obama's schedule for this week, distributed by the White House on July 20, made no mention of the signing of the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act. The measure won final approval from Congress on July 17, receiving strong bipartisan support.
White House spokesman Jay Carney denied any political intent with the timing of the bill signing, saying the measure passed last week and Obama was traveling from Sunday to Wednesday.
"The president's been on the road, and today was the day to sign it," he said Friday. (READ MORE)
March 3rd, 2012
12:39 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin reports on what's at stake for President Obama as he prepares to meet Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The meeting comes amid growing tensions with Iran and differing views over how to contain that country's nuclear ambitions.
March 2nd, 2012
12:51 PM ET
President Barack Obama says he isn't bluffing when he says Iran shouldn't have a nuclear weapon, but he cautions against a premature Israeli strike against the Islamic republic.
"At a time when there is not a lot of sympathy for Iran and its only real ally, (Syria,) is on the ropes, do we want a distraction in which suddenly Iran can portray itself as a victim?" he said this week in an interview with the Atlantic.
Obama, who will be meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, said a permanent solution is necessary.
Read more about his comments here.
February 29th, 2012
02:33 PM ET
Washington (CNN) – This may be a first. Ahead of the AIPAC meeting in Washington this weekend, the Democratic National Committee is pre-butting any Republican attacks on the President's position on Israel.
They're doing so by sending the Jewish press, activists and the general media a video featuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying in May of 2011, "President Obama spoke about his ironclad commitment to Israel's security. He rightly said that our security cooperation is unprecedented and he has backed those words with deeds."
It would seem the video is intended to buffer the President from Republican accusations that his policy on Iran has been too weak. In the course of the campaign Mitt Romney has said that if the President is re-elected Iran will have a nuclear bomb and Rick Santorum accused the President of actively allowing Iran to get a nuclear weapon.
In a statement DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse claims "never have more Republicans been as nakedly political about the US-Israeli relationship and not surprisingly they are deliberately lying about the President's record for nothing than more than pure politics." He calls it "reprehensible" and adds "it's going to backfire."
February 20th, 2012
12:13 PM ET
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the White House on Monday, March 5. The White House announced the news Monday at the end of readout regarding National Security Advisor Tom Donilon's trip to to Israel. The meeting comes amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran, as well as ongoing unrest in Syria.
From the White House:
February 5th, 2012
08:23 PM ET
Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama on Sunday said Israel has not decided whether it will strike Iran, but added if tensions escalate this spring, no options would be taken off the table.
“I don't think Israel has made a decision,” Obama said in the president’s traditional pre-Super Bowl interview, this time with NBC’s Matt Lauer.
But he stressed that the United States would work with Israel to resolve the situation using diplomacy.
“(Israel), like us, believe(s) that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program,” he said.
Read the entire post on CNN's Political Ticker.