(Reuters) - U.S. Senator John McCain accused President Barack Obama of throwing a "temper tantrum" over comments by Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, adding to the conflict between the White House and the Republican-dominated Congress over Israel.
McCain, asked on CNN's "State of the Union" show if U.S.-Israel relations were at a dangerous point, said, "I think that's up to the president of the United States."
Obama's sensitive relationship with Netanyahu was strained further by comments Netanyahu made in the closing moments of his successful campaign for re-election last week.
"The president should get over it," McCain said on CNN. "Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President.
"The least of your problems is what Bibi Netanyahu said during an election campaign. If every politician were held to everything they say in a political campaign, obviously that would be a topic of long discussion."
Netanyahu - Israel elections
McCain to Obama: Get over your temper tantrum
A screen shows an exit poll estimation of the first results of Israel's parliamentary election with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin's Netanyahu Likud party and Herzog Isaac centre-left Zionist Union neck-and-neck in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
KIRYAT YEARIM, ISRAEL - MARCH 17: An Orthodox Jewish man casts his ballot at a polling station on election day on March 17, 2015 in Kiryat Ye'arim, Israel. Israel's general election voting has begun today as polls show on that Chairman of the Zionist Union party, Isaac Herzog stands as the only rival to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 3:
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before joint session of Congress, on March, 03, 2015 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went neck and neck with Zionist Union Party leader Issac Herzog but ultimately pulled away in the election.
Co-leaders of the Zionist Union party, Israeli Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog (L) and Israeli MP Tzipi Livni, speak to the media in Modiin, near Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2015 as Israelis vote in a close-fought election pitting the centre left against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is fighting for his political survival after six years in power. AFP PHOTO / GIL COHEN-MAGEN (Photo credit should read GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he opens the weekly cabinet meeting at his Jerusalem office on February 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL / GALI TIBBON (Photo credit should read GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images)
As Israeli soldiers cast early votes in Israel's upcoming election, the outlook for sitting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not good. Challengers Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni -- whom Netanyahu booted from the government late last year -- and their Zionist Union look likely to win the most seats in Israel's parliament, with Netanyahu's Likud Party about four seats behind.
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MARCH 17: Supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrate as election results come in at his election campaign headquarters on March 17, 2015 in Tel Aviv, Israel. After the ballot boxes were closed at 10 P.M. Tuesday, exit polls showed the two main contenders, Netanyahu of Likud and Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union party, were neck and neck with 27 Knesset seats each, with a slight lead for Likud. Netanyahu has announced a 'great victory'. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 3: Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jews protest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress outside the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu will speak to Congress on Iran's nuclear ambitions and President Obama's emerging deal with Tehran. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 3: An Anti-Zionist Orthodox Jew protests Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress outside the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Netanyahu will speak to Congress on Iran's nuclear ambitions and President Obama's emerging deal with Tehran. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Israeli Likud Party supporters react to the exit polls while they wait for the announcement of the first official results of Israel's parliamentary elections on March 17, 2015 at the party's headquarters in the city of Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightwing Likud party is neck-and-neck with the centre-left Zionist Union in the general election, exit polls said. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
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McCain, a leading voice in Congress on foreign relations, urged Obama to focus on the growing Islamic State threat in the Middle East and curbing Iran's nuclear program.
Netanyahu has become an issue in Democrat Obama's rocky relationship with Congress, where Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate.
Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress earlier this month that the United States should do more to stop Iran's nuclear program, speaking at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner, who did not consult the White House in advance.
A group of 47 senators also bypassed Obama this month by sending a letter to Iran that the White House said undermined negotiations with Tehran on nuclear weapons.
Netanyahu drew a further rebuke from the White House last week when he abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state, even though he later backed off from his comments. Media reports said the United States was reviewing its position on a U.N. Security Council resolution on Palestinian state.
In the past Israel has relied on U.S. veto power on the Security Council to support its interests.
(Writing and reporting by Bill Trott; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)