Two Republicans looking to challenge President Barack Obama’s re-election bid say his speech on the Middle East undermines U.S. foreign policy and betrays Israel.

Obama on Thursday suggested Israelis and Palestinians return to negotiations. He backed the Palestinians’ demand for the borders of its future state and prodded Israel to accept that it can never have a truly peaceful nation based on what Obama called “permanent occupation.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says Obama “threw Israel under the bus” and handed the Palestinians a victory. And former Sen. Rick Santorum is calling the president’s approach “dangerous.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Romney says it is disrespectful of Israel of America to dictate negotiating terms to its ally, and not appropriate for the president to dictate the terms.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.