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Michael Koplow

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Dan Shapiro and Michael Koplow say the U.S. made a “moral commitment” to Israel as a democracy against countless threats 71 years ago and the U.S. has a strategic interest in preserving Israel as a democracy, or the morality of the relationship will be undermined. The possibility that we should distance ourselves from Israel because it’s persecuting Palestinians is simply off the table for these liberal Zionists. Though progressive Democrats increasingly feel that way.

Democratic Party lobbyists for Israel worry that Trump isn’t consulting with Israeli leaders and won’t take on Iran. There have been no phone calls between the two recently, says former ambassador Daniel Shapiro. While Michael Koplow says Israel used to have the sense that there was a “larger US umbrella that will prevent things from getting too far out of hand” in Lebanon and Syria, but they don’t feel that way now.

Donald Trump’s decision to abandon former Kurdish allies in Syria has been a shock to Israel and its US lobby. Israel thought it had a very special place in Trump’s worldview, but the withdrawal appears to gives Iran far more leeway. We are on our own against Iran, several Israeli officials and Israel supporters conclude fearfully. War is more likely than ever, one expert concludes.

Images of Reps. Rashida Tlaib (l) and Ilhan Omar

Donald Trump’s charge that four congresswomen are Israel haters is a political tactic aimed at taking pro-Israel donors away from the Democratic Party. Liberals set the table for Trump’s racist comments by roundly condemning Rep. Ilhan Omar as anti-semitic, when she was addressing an important issue in US politics: the role of the Israel lobby in setting foreign policy in the Middle East.