Good questions , complex ones to which I can only speculate on the answers. Our differences boil down to this, it would seem : trust in our government's current decision or how it arrived at its current Israeli policy. You and Drew suspect undue influence on Israel's part to the detriment of our country. I claim that your surmise is wrong given that our leaders do what it best for THIS country FIRST.
The basis of our nation is that the decisions relating to policy are to be debated in a public forum, voted on and adopted or rejected based on the merits of the debate. There has been no debate on this subject. It would be healthy to have a real debate, like it would have been healthy to have a genuine debate on the subject of invading Iraq before we did it.
So, based on the track record, I am not willing to assume the elected officials can create competent policy without the intended process of the Constitution. This is as true for domestic policy, such as the bail-out, as it is for foreign policy. It is about as un-American as possible to promote policy making outside the procedure dictated by our Constitution. Without visibility, it is very difficult to establish whether or not the best interests of the United States actually were at the forefront of a policy created without debate and "transparency."
Drew makes a case for Israeli influence behind the lack of openness on the subject of our US-Israeli policy. I am not as clear on the subject - I heard a pretty good case for why the religious right wants Israel around on Bill Maher's show - no Israel, no home for the Jews, no place for Jesus to return to do away with the Jews per some chapter of the Bible. Makes as much sense to me as AIPAC.