In their second debate in the run-up to the US presidential elections, incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney focused primarily on domestic issues, but did have one heated exchange regarding relations with Israel and Middle East policies in general.
For months, Romney has been accusing Obama of mismanaging American interests in the Middle East, especially its close relationship with Israel. Romney has said that Obama has repeatedly "thrown Israel under the bus" in his desire to bring America closer to the Islamic world.
The former Massachusetts governor continued with that line of attack in Tuesday's debate.
"Look what’s happening in Syria, in Egypt and now in Libya. Consider the distance between ourselves and Israel. We have Iran four years closer to a nuclear bomb," charged Romney.
According to Romney, it is Obama's kid-glove approach toward Islamist forces in the Middle East that has allowed the hijacking of Egypt's pro-democracy revolution by the Muslim Brotherhood, various attacks on US diplomatic missions in the region, and Iran's acceleration of its defiant nuclear program.