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Visiting Israel, GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson promises strong support for Jewish state

  • ADDS DATE OF INTERVIEW - FILE - In this March 8, 2014 file photo, Dr. Ben Carson, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Md. In his first visit to Israel, prospective Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Thursday Dec. 18, 2014 he is in awe of the Jewish state, inspired by its ancient holy sites, impressed by the resilience of people living in a perpetual conflict zone _ and deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama.    (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

    ADDS DATE OF INTERVIEW - FILE - In this March 8, 2014 file photo, Dr. Ben Carson, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Md. In his first visit to Israel, prospective Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Thursday Dec. 18, 2014 he is in awe of the Jewish state, inspired by its ancient holy sites, impressed by the resilience of people living in a perpetual conflict zone _ and deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, Ben Carson visits in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Carson, 63, a retired African-American neurosurgeon best known for his groundbreaking work in separating conjoined twins, has not yet declared his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, saying that he is "strongly considering" a bid. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, Ben Carson visits in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Carson, 63, a retired African-American neurosurgeon best known for his groundbreaking work in separating conjoined twins, has not yet declared his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, saying that he is "strongly considering" a bid. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, Ben Carson visits Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Carson, 63, a retired African-American neurosurgeon best known for his groundbreaking work in separating conjoined twins, has not yet declared his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, saying that he is "strongly considering" a bid. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

    In this Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 photo, Ben Carson visits Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Carson, 63, a retired African-American neurosurgeon best known for his groundbreaking work in separating conjoined twins, has not yet declared his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, saying that he is "strongly considering" a bid. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)  (The Associated Press)

Making his first visit to Israel, prospective Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson says he is in awe of the Jewish state, inspired by its ancient holy sites, and impressed by the resilience of people living in a perpetual conflict zone.

Carson also says that he's deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama and believes that Obama hasn't sought to cultivate the relationship between the two nations.

Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who has emerged as a favorite of some conservatives in the early field of possible GOP candidates. In an interview this week with The Associated Press in Jerusalem, he says he doesn't think the U.S. should ever leave the Israelis in a position of wondering whether the U.S. supports them.