Aug 27, 2019, 6:20 PM
Journalist ID: 2078
News Code: 83454287
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Trump's unequivocal support for Netanyahu divides American and Israeli Jews

New York, August 27, IRNA - More young Jewish Americans distance themselves from Israeli policies, said an American peace activist on Tuesday as US President Donald Trump has forged closer ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Donald Trump’s support for a decision by Netanyahu not to allow that two US Democrat congresswomen visit Israel has caused a collapse in Israel supporters, especially the American Jews, Ariel Gold, a member of the women’s peace group CODEPINK told IRNA on Tuesday. 

Israeli prime minister Netanyahu barred entry for Representatives Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota two weeks ago on grounds that “their visit will damage Israel”. 

The two had planned visits to the holy sites in Jerusalem known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount. 

Tlaib planned to stay two extra days to visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.

Trump said it would show "great weakness" if Israel allowed entry to Omar and Tlaib. 

"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit," Trump tweeted. "They hate Israel & all Jewish people, & there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!"

But, Gold believes Trump’s support has brought about a change in the American society and many are sensitive to the issue now. 

Tlaib and Omar have been vocal critics of Israel and have supported the boycott movement and voted against a House resolution condemning the movement, which received broad bipartisan support.

Last month, Tlaib tweeted that the resolution was "unconstitutional" and aimed to "silence" opposition to Israel's policies.

Trump, who has a close relationship with Netanyahu, has repeatedly attacked both Tlaib and Omar, telling them last month to "go back" to the countries they came from. Tlaib was born in the United States, and Omar was born in Somalia and is a naturalized the US citizen.

Trump called for Omar's resignation in March after she suggested the US support of Israel is motivated by money in remarks condemned by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as anti-Semitic.

The boycott movement, formally known as the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, aims to end international support for Israel because of its policies toward Palestinians, as well as its continued construction of West Bank settlements, considered a violation of international law.

“They boycott movement is a peaceful campaign similar to a movement against South Africa’s Apartheid regime which was toppled down. Although the boycott movement hasn’t affected the Israeli economy very negatively, it has created social awareness. It’s natural that Israel is worried and bans its members and supporters from entering there,” Gold mentioned. 

The ban also rallied the support of those who don’t necessarily agree or like the two Muslim congresswomen, according to the peace activist, who is a Jew herself. 

The current situation has caused a rift between the American Jews and those who live in Israel, who fervently support right-wing politicians such as Netanyahu, according to Gold, who expressed concern over radicalization of the Israeli public opinion.

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