US-Israel ties see fresh turmoil as Obama scoots out the door

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In the spirit of giving, the Obama administration on Wednesday offered a parting gift to its longest-standing ally in the Middle East.

Wrapped in a cloak of controversy following the administration's abstension from a United Nations vote to end Jewish settlement building on occupied Palestinian territory, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a surprise lecture to Israeli leaders about the importance of peace and a two-state solution.

"If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won't ever really be at peace," he said in a sharp 72-minute address from Foggy Bottom.

After a turbulent eight-year relationship between the Obama White House and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it seemed the administration had finally and unabashedly let its simmering anger boil into the public sphere.

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