Dems Schneider, Sherman: Defending Israel harder under Trump-Netanyahu alliance


August 24, 2019
JFJFP
Lawmakers warn president making Jewish state a partisan cause for own benefit: ‘He’s taking a country with one friend in the world, trying to turn it into one with half a friend’

US President Donald Trump, left, welcomes visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House

Eric Cortellessa writes in times of Israel, “For the last several decades, one of the easiest positions to take on Capitol Hill was to unequivocally support Israel. The reasons for this were manifold: from the power and efficacy of the pro-Israel lobby to the simple reality that most Americans have historically believed in the legitimacy of the Israeli cause. In today’s Washington, however, things may no longer be so clear cut.”

“The views of congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar — who each support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel — are far from mainstream. They are only two out of 235 Democratic lawmakers. But Jerusalem’s decision to bar the two of them from entering the country last week has brought to the forefront a new reality: Israel has become increasingly more difficult for Democrats to defend.”

“I think we’re going to have to work harder to make the case,” Democratic Congressman Brad Schneider, a staunch pro-Israel supporter, told The Times of Israel on Friday. “I don’t think it’s harder to make the case. The facts are still the same. Israel is still our most valuable ally in the region. But we will have to work harder.”

US Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, right, speaks as US Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat,

“That’s not because Democrats have become suddenly hostile to the notion of a Jewish state. It’s because the leader of the Jewish state has aligned his country with an American president who has made it his mission to turn Israel into a partisan cause. “This was obviously an attempt to hurt Israel,” said California Congressman Brad Sherman, a Democrat. “Maybe not intentionally, but he’s taking a country with essentially one friend in the world and is trying to turn it into a country with half a friend in the world.”

“Sherman, who is one of the strongest Israel supporters in the House, pinned the blame for the incident almost exclusively on US President Donald Trump, who he called a “pseudo-Zionist” who “uses Israel to benefit his own interests.” (more…)

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