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Mort Zuckerman, the editor of U.S. News & World Report, called Israel a “client state” of the United States.

“Israel has to understand — like it or not — it is not a great power. It is a client state. And therefore, it must be dependent upon a great power,” Zuckerman said during an interview on Shalom TV’s “World Jewish News” show last week. “There is no question that the United States has been and is the most reliable long-term friend and ally that Israel has, and it must do what it has to do in order to maintain that relationship. And if [cooperating with Bush’s Annapolis peace initiative] is part of that price, Israel has to do it for the United States.”

Zuckerman, a recent past chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he is pessimistic about the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinians but that Israel must make the effort because “it is the only way to maintain whatever political support it has, especially in the United States — but really, in the Western world.”

He compared Israel and her quest for peace to Sisyphus, the figure in Greek mythology who repeatedly rolled a huge rock up a hill only to have it roll from his grasp near the summit.

Zuckerman says U.S. policy toward Israel likely will change when a new president takes office next year.

“It never does stay the same — and it is often a surprise,” he said. “But it is my judgment that there are a whole variety of views of Israel.”

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