Rep. Peter King says he is "disappointed" that the White House appears to be "undermining Israel" in the current conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
King was angered by the words of two prominent Democrats suggesting Israel has escalated the violence with its ground and rocket attacks, which have killed civilians, including children.
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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told CNN's
"The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," on Tuesday that she fears Israel is "overdoing" it and risks losing some of its moral authority.
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told Blitzer that while Hamas instigated the current conflict, the Obama administration thinks Israel "has to take greater care" to avoid civilian casualties.
Appearing later, King, a New York Republican, told Blitzer he was disappointed to have Rhodes "undermining Israel in the midst of this war."
The White House can't say Israel has the right to defend itself and then say it is going too far, he said.
"That's wrong," King said. Israel, he added, is "doing what they have to do."
King said he hopes Rhodes and Albright are not part of "a concerted administration effort to undermine Israel" in order to get that nation to the bargaining table.
King also addressed the FAA's decision
to ban U.S. flights to and from Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours after a Hamas rocket exploded a mile away. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the United States to reverse the ban, but King said the U.S. has to put the safety of Americans first.
"I regret that it has to be done, and, if anything, it should show us how dangerous Hamas is and why we should not be getting in the way of Israel" going after Hamas, King told CNN.
King said he hopes flights can resume soon, and said the White House shouldn't allow the incident to become a "wedge" issue with Israel.
"We can't allow Hamas and other terrorists to score these type victories," he said.
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