1. BIGGER CONCERNS

    Obama: Israel Should Defend Itself

    Image #: 20172710    U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stand at the base of the Reclining Buddha as they tour the Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok November 18, 2012. Obama kicked off a three-country Asia tour with a visit to Thailand on Sunday, using his first post-election trek overseas to try to show he is serious about shifting the U.S. strategic focus eastwards.   REUTERS/Jason Reed   (THAILAND - Tags: POLITICS RELIGION)       REUTERS /JASON REED /LANDOV

    JASON REED

    President Obama may be in Thailand, but his mind is elsewhere. As he kicked off the first day of his post-election tour, increased violence in Israel and Gaza turned the president’s focus from the future of American foreign policy in Southeast Asia to the enduring Middle East turmoil. “There is no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Obama told reporters Sunday after a meeting with Thailand’s prime minister, backing the Israeli airstrike that killed 10 civilians in Gaza. “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

    Read it at The New York Times