"There are questions that rarely get asked in Washington. For years, the mantra that America's intimate alliance with Israel was as good for the US as it was the Jewish state went largely unchallenged by politicians aware of the cost of anything but unwavering support.
But swirling in the background when Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, arrives in Washington tomorrow to patch up relations with the White House will be a question rarely voiced until recently: is Israel ‑ or, at the very least, its current government ‑ endangering US security and American troops?
Netanyahu would prefer to be seen as an indispensable ally in confronting Islamist terror. But his insistence on building Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, which is causing a deep rift with Washington, is seen as evidence of a lack of serious interest in the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. That in turn is seen as fuelling hostility towards the US in other parts of the Middle East and beyond, because America is perceived as Israel's shield."