Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making his way back to Israel after failing to reach an agreement with the White House that would advance the launching of so-called proximity talks with the Palestinians.
Meanwhile in Israel, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said Netanyahu should be praised for insisting on Israel's interests with the US administration. "We are not a leftist government, and construction in Jerusalem is part of the consensus – it is the capital of the people of Israel," Hershkowitz said.
"We do not want to fight with our great friend, but our responsibility is towards the people of Israel. We are an independent state and not an American dependant. We must avoid a situation whereby we close down the Knesset and government, hand (US President Barack) Obama the keys and allow him to tell us what to do," he said.
"If the Americans will realize that the Israeli government has red lines - they will respect that," he said.
Other ministers echoed Hershkowitz's call.
Sources close to right-wing cabinet members said that before Netanyahu left for Washington he was told to take a tough stance on Jewish construction in east Jerusalem even at the risk of a full-blown crisis.
According to one source, Netanyahu was told that Israel must make it clear to the US that the issue of Jerusalem is nonnegotiable.
"If the Americans insist, then they can break down the negotiations," one minister was quoted as saying.