After a week of intensive efforts to reach a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, US Secretary of State John Kerry faced a barrage of criticism from the Israeli press and some politicians.

Many accused him of pandering to Hamas even though observers noted that the Kerry plan was similar to an earlier Egyptian sponsored proposal, agreed to by Israel.

The US government seemed to be caught off guard by the scale of the criticism, and struck back by defending its top diplomat.

But the turn of events has led some to question the state of the two allies special relationship.

Is it as close as it once was? And does the US still have leverage over Israel?

Presenter: Adrian Finighan


Dan Gillerman, former Israeli ambassador to the UN.

Michele Dunne, senior associate at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and former specialist on Middle East Affairs to the White House.

Stephen Walt, professor of International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School of government and co-author of "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy".

Source: Al Jazeera