Photos: Inauguration Day in Washington

Holocaust Remembrance Day

U.S.-Israeli relations are strained as never before

U.S.-Israeli relations are strained as never before

And it came to pass after the 1977 election for prime minister that Menachem Begin went to the occupied West Bank and declared it "liberated Israeli territory." It ignited a revolution in the construction of Jewish settlements.

That territory since has become an albatross hung around Israel's neck by an intransigent seven-year conservative government, settlers, nationalists and Orthodox Jews who insist on homesteading in areas contested by Palestinians, bringing the Jewish population in the region to about 350,000. Consequently, relations between the United States and Israel have become strained as perhaps never before.

Further, and perhaps more significantly,...