While President Obama has voiced support for pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East, the instability has made Israel's Netanyahu wary of making concessions for peace.
Despite pledges by Israel and Hamas to restore calm amid the worst violence since the 2009 Gaza war, Israeli aircraft fired on the Gaza Strip as militants launched rockets within 16 miles of to Tel Aviv.
Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the Gaza blockade flotilla crisis has further isolated Israel in the world and strained relations with Washington. Can a tough nationalist emerge as a statesman?
While Israel had called for 'crippling' Iran sanctions, in the wake of its fatal Gaza flotilla raid officials knows they have little political capital to push for more aggressive action than the US has taken.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates reassured Israelis that the offer to talk to Tehran isn't open-ended, but some caution that Obama's basic policy on the issue has not changed.
In talks in London Monday, Israel's defense minister said the two sides had made progress, but still had 'a way to go.'
The US and Israel agreed this week to establish a joint committee on how to implement a freeze outlined in the 2003 road map.