Global Politics

This is a moment of reckoning for American Jews, Haaretz reporter says

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A man cycles past signs bearing the name of U.S. President-elect Republican Donald Trump in Tel Aviv, Israel November 14, 2016.

A man cycles past signs bearing the name of U.S. President-elect Republican Donald Trump in Tel Aviv, Israel November 14, 2016.

Credit:

REUTERS/Baz Ratner

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump spoke often about his love for Israel. Many there cheered his victory last week.

Now, some Israelis are questioning that support after Trump selected Stephen Bannon as his White House chief strategist.

Bannon has been called a white nationalist by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, among others. He's the head of Breitbart, a website that's been associated with what the Anti-Defamation League calls "unabashed anti-Semites." 

How does that square with Israelis?

"Well, it kind of depends which Israelis you ask," says Allison Kaplan Sommer, a Tel Aviv-based reporter for Haaretz. "Israelis who are ideologically committed to settling the West Bank and against peace deals with the Palestinians responded ecstatically to the election of Donald Trump. But other Israelis, who are more in tune with some of the American Jewish counterparts who have great misgivings for Donald Trump and what he stands for, are less excited."

Sommer wrote about this and more in an article titled "Steve Bannon's Appointment Is a Moment of Truth for U.S. Jews."

Sommer believes American Jews are in a difficult situation.

"I think there is a generation of progressive American Jews who will be on the side of fighting President-elect Trump," she says. "And on the other hand there is going to be the government of Israel. ... So, some of those American Jewish establishment leaders are going to have to figure out how to work both sides."

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