It was bound to happen sooner or later. At some point, both the president and Congress would be faced with a clear choice between US national interests and the demands made by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his powerful Washington lobby.
But usually, as is the case with some Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights like the Gaza blockade, the situation is not completely clear-cut. The Palestinians charge illegality under international law; the Israelis cite a different law.
And the US can (and invariably does) say nothing, or it takes the side of the Israelis. The entire world expects that from the United States by now and understands precisely why we operate that way. It understands that Israel is an important friend whose security we would never jeopardise.
They understand quite clearly that it is our absurd system of campaign funding that dictates that we follow Israel's lead on defending the occupation and preventing Palestinians from achieving any kind of recognition or sovereignty. The US always chooses Netanyahu's interests over the rights of the Palestinians.
However, Monday's United Nations vote to admit Palestine into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) presented US policymakers with a watershed choice. US interests and the Israeli government's desires are directly pitted against each other. More