The dispute over settlements has “transformed the American-Israeli connection and forced Israel to face new international realities.” Israel and the United States are facing “the worst split” in decades, a former Israeli foreign minister asserted, and the tremors may turn very soon into an earthshaking shift, “unless the Israeli government moderates its position on settlements.” Israelis will have to make some hard choices, according to an influential Knesset member: “Never in the history of the relations between two states has a major superpower, in return for nourishing and supporting a distant and small second state, been ridiculed instead of being treated with gratitude and consideration by its beneficiary. . . . The tail not only wagged the dog, it also barked, while for many years the dog remained silent and embarrassed.”
That was the scene in January 1992, as reported by Leon Hadar in Middle East Policy (“The ‘Special Relationship’: Israel Decides Its Future”).
Plus ça change . . .
After Vice President Joseph Biden returned from his visit to Israel in March, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, confided to his colleagues that the two countries’ relations were in “the worst crisis in 35 years.”
Biden started that visit by declaring that America’s commitment to Israel was...