Going into his AIPAC speech today, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces stern US warnings, Palestinian exasperation, and a fractious coalition government and rising violence back home.
Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, said on Sunday that Israel could do without loan guarantees after US envoy George Mitchell told PBS last week that the US could consider withholding the guarantees if Israel doesn't stop settlement construction.
J Street challenges the dominant role AIPAC has played in defining how US Jews see Israel. Why is a prominent Israeli politician not attending J Street's national conference in Washington this week?.
It is reportedly planning to dismantle the outposts in a single day to minimize the violence and bad PR that marred the last major evacuation, in 2006.
Many Israelis see the president's decision to bypass Jerusalem as part of a broader shift in US priorities in the region.
The prime minister skirted a vote to dissolve Israel's parliament by agreeing to allow a September primary election within his centrist Kadima Party.
Corruption allegations by a US businessman have prompted the defense minister to call for him to step down.