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Trump’s close alliance with Israel has Jewish leaders panicked the public will turn on them: ‘It is very dangerous’

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According to a deep dive in the New York Times into how the American Jewish community feels about Donald Trump’s close relationship with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, some rabbis expressed extreme misgivings about the country being linked to the increasingly unpopular president.

News that Trump and Netanyahu appear to have combined forces to block Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D -MI) from visiting the West Bank — although Netanyahu relented on Tlaib so she could visit her grandmother — has dismayed many American Jews and opened a divide over how to deal with it.

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As St. Louis Park, MN. Rabbi Avi S. Olitzky put it, “There was very much an attitude of, ‘oh, here we go again.’ The pendulum keeps swinging left and right, left and right. It’s dizzying and exhausting and distracting. Emotions are raw.”

As the Times notes, “For months, American Jews in Ms. Omar’s district and beyond have found themselves enmeshed in a deeply uncomfortable debate over the growing distance between traditional liberal American Jewish values and the political realities of an Israeli government that’s embraced hard-line policies and a deep alliance with President Donald Trump.”

Of concern is the fact that many Jews feel Trump is using them as human shields to not only allay concerns about his connections to anti-semitic white supremacists but also to appeal to evangelicals who are obsessed with the Holy Land — and Israel in particular.

“To some Jews, the president’s attacks on the congresswomen are a fierce renunciation of anti-Semitism and a defense of Israel,” the Times reports. “But many others see their identity being used as a pawn for the political ambitions of Mr. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a dynamic they fear could undermine the historically strong alliance between the United States and Israel and increase the security risks for their community at home.”

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, who oversees the Ohev Sholom congregation in Washington, D.C., got right to the point in an interview.

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“If Israel equals Trump, then there is a concern that opposition to Trump will transition, God forbid, into opposition to Israel. It is very dangerous,” he explained.

Sheila Katz, who heads the National Council of Jewish Women, also expressed a desire for Trump to stay out of Israel’s business when it comes to the two banned lawmakers.

“I don’t think any of us want to be in this position and we don’t think it is actually helpful for Israel either,” she stated. “We’d ask the president to not influence and pressure the prime minister of Israel to be carrying out what feels like bullying because of issues he has with congresswomen here in the U.S.”

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2020 Election

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel repeatedly voted by mail — before suing California for expanding the practice

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Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel frequently voted by mail before leading a lawsuit against California over the state's mail voting expansion, according to voting records.

This article originally appeared at Salon.ig

McDaniel announced on Sunday that the RNC, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the California Republican Party had sued Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom after he announced that all registered voters in the state would receive mail-in ballots for the upcoming elections.

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2020 Election

Leaked video: GOP Senate candidate told black leaders it’s pointless to call out Trump racism

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John James, the Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Michigan, privately told African-American leaders in the state that it was pointless to publicly call out President Donald Trump's racist statements — shortly before he publicly criticized former Vice President Joe Biden for "hurtful" remarks he made about black voters.

"When I do talk about a prosperity agenda, that's the goal, is achieving equity and equality for our people, not standing up on Twitter and condemning folks," James said in a leaked video obtained by Salon, in response to a question about why he had not spoken out about the president's racist rhetoric. "We've had our minds twisted to believe that speaking out is tantamount to fixing things."

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2020 Election

George Floyd’s death returns spotlight to Sen. Amy Klobuchar prosecutor past

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MINNEAPOLIS — The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody this week has renewed concerns about Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s time as a Hennepin County prosecutor as she is being vetted as a potential running mate for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.The selection of Biden’s No. 2 is unfolding as many blacks — a key voting bloc for the party — are looking for Biden to show he is not taking black voters for granted and that his ticket can excite those who sat out the 2016 election.Klobuchar’s presidential bid was marked by an inability to gain inroads with black primary voters whil... (more…)

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