American Jews and the International Arena (April 2017 – July 2018): The Gap Between American and Israeli Jews Widens as the Gap Between Governments Narrows
President Trump took a number of steps large numbers of Jews approved of, notably recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy there and cancelling the Iran nuclear deal, but disapproval of his domestic policies and demeanor angered many Jews, most of whom did not vote for him. US-Israel government relations improved, but tensions escalated between American Jewish leaders and the Israeli government as Prime Minister Netanyahu reneged on an agreement to create an egalitarian prayer space at the Western Wall and the Knesset adopted policies some Jews perceived as weakening Israel’s democratic and pluralistic tradition. American Jews staunchly supported Israel’s response to Hamas terror and Iranian threats from Syria, and joined Israel in fighting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Many American Jews remained frustrated, however, with the stagnation of the peace process and concerned by signs the Democratic Party is becoming more critical of Israel.