Call me paranoid, but I suspect a public-relations plot against Israel by the Obama administration.
I see a deliberate attempt to put distance between the U.S. and Israel, as a prelude to increased pressure on Israel to accept the U.S. approach to peace negotiations - the Mitchell approach.
The basis for my suspicion is a discernable ratcheting up of rhetoric - conveniently supported by the target provided by the announcement of the intention to build housing units in East Jerusalem (which was itself probably the result of a counter-Obama Israeli agenda).
The White House is leaking insinuations and rumors from the highest level in the administration and even the military (see for example here and here). According to Mark Perry, an intelligence analyst with known sympathies for Arab extremists, General Petraeus and other senior commanders were shocked to learn the extent to which Israel's intransigence in the Middle East was fueling resentment in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere across the Moslem world, and increasing the danger faced by American soldiers in the field. I heard an interview on NPR (I think it was with Mark Perry) in which he clearly implied that if only Israel would quickly "resolve" its disagreements with the Palestinians, America's job in the world, and in the Moslem world in particular, would be significantly eased. This stuff is now all over the media.
This is not a new accusation, but it is an alarmingly serious one. Americans overwhelmingly believe that Israel and American share common values and interests - and are not just strategic allies. In its understanding of the importance of Israel as a bastion of classical liberal principles, America is almost alone in the world. If this should change, if Americans could be made to believe the horribly specious argument that support for Israel is unnecessarily costing us money and lives, the cost to Israel and to the world can hardly be understated.
It boggles my mind to imagine that the Jews of America, Alan Dershowitz included (see here), voted for this President.
AIPAC is about to begin its high-profile annual convention in Washington DC. The delegates will hear from both Hillary Clinton and Binyamin Netanyahu. Let us hope they hear the right things and have the strength and influence to turn this tide before it becomes a tsunami.