The Washington Times - March 21, 2013, 09:37AM

Republican Rep. Peter King said Thursday that President Obama’s trip to Israel has been “very successful” and applauded his outreach to the Middle East country.

The New York lawmaker, a frequent critics of Mr. Obama, also pushed back at complaints the president is giving too much credence to Israeli concerns over Palestinian interests, saying in “some sense we should play favorites.”

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“There’s not an equivalency between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Mr. King said on CNN’s “Starting Point” program. “Israel is our closest ally in the Middle East, it’s the only democracy in the Middle East. We obviously want to work with the Palestinians, and we want to bring about a peace, but I don’t see a moral or diplomatic equivalency between the two.”

“If there’s a benefit of a doubt, it should go to Israel.”

Mr. King, who in January stepped down as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, added the president supports some Palestinian positions, such as the “two-state solution” with Israel and has called Israel’s settlements activity in West Bank “not constructive.”

“But again, let’s keep in mind, Israel is our ally.”