Court Ruling Threatens Israel-U.S. Ties

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Israel's Supreme Court has dropped a hot falafel in the lap of Bibi Netanyahu. Its Thursday ruling denying U.S. attempts to extradite Samuel Sheinbein, a teenager wanted for murder in Maryland, is sure to raise tensions after U.S. congressmen earlier threatened to stop aid to Israel over the standoff. "Many in the U.S. will be angry that an American can flee to Israel to avoid prosecution," says TIME correspondent Johanna McGeary. "But it may be awkward for American politicians who need Jewish political support to get too upset about it."

Two days after the burned and mutilated body of Alfred Tello Jr. was discovered in a Montgomery County garage, Sheinbein fled to Israel and applied for citizenship. The Israeli court's 3-2 ruling came despite the Netanyahu government's desire to extradite Sheinbein. He'll now be tried for the crime in Israel, although it's not clear how this will be undertaken. One loser in the backlash: Jonathan Pollard. "With Israel refusing to hand over a murder suspect, it's unlikely that Washington will agree to its requests to free an American convicted of spying for Israel," says McGeary. Both Jerusalem and Washington should be hoping it ends there.