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(NECN) - It's time for the Braude Beat, and Broadside host Jim Braude weighed in on a number of headlining stories Thursday.
Tensions are growing in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas militants, making it one of the biggest escalations of the year.
"There sort of was this uneasy truce between Hamas and the Israelis for I guess quite a while now, and then all of a sudden it, they inflamed it, and the Palestinians dropped whatever it is, 200 rockets or something, killing some people in Tel Aviv," says Braude. "Not only is it a horribly difficult situation for the people who live in that part of the world, while we're talking non-stop about Petraeus and fiscal cliffs, the Middle East is a huge issue and an immediate issue for Barack Obama from Assad still leading this assault on his people in Syria to what's happening in Israel."
Meanwhile, hearings on the Benghazi attack began on Capitol Hill Thursday, with Sen. John McCain of Arizona leading the charge.
"And for the president of the United States, for two weeks afterwards, to deny that that was the case is either a cover-up or it is incompetence," McCain said.
What does Braude have to say on the topic?
"The threshold issue that everybody is facing: Is this a political grandstanding by the Republicans or legitimate issues? The answer is both," he says. "There are clearly legitimate issues that haven't been addressed about what the administration knew, what they didn't know, when they knew it, what about the requests for more security coming from the ambassador over there, but secondly, this kind of thing from a respected leader like John McCain, again, the press conference gets priority over the classified briefing that he's been demanding is frankly a little bit embarrassing, to say the least."
Finally, Lt. Governor Tim Murray is making headlines in Massachusetts because of his aspirations to become governor himself, but Braude isn't quite sure if he likes it.
"I mean, the two issues are one, his relationship with the disgraced former head of the Chelsea Housing Authority, with whom he exchanged a couple of hundred, according to the Globe, cell phone calls, but he says 'I barely had a relationship with him.' There are a lot of questions there," Braude says. "And secondly, his refusal to answer questions, at least in my opinion, in a serious way about that accident in November 2011. For example, there's been a demand for his cell phone records, his position is is that there is nothing on the cell phone records. Well, if there's nothing on the cell phone records, why don't you release them? He has not done that."
Watch the attached video for more.