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Israeli left regroups to survive Trump era

Israeli progressives fear that the spirit of the new US administration not only will encourage settlement construction, but threaten liberal values and tolerance within Israeli society.
Attorney David Friedman arrives at a private fundraiser for then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Manhattan borough of New York City, June 21, 2016. Friedman is U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's designated Ambassador to Israel. Picture taken June 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTX2XAMD
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"It is the fulfillment of a nightmare," says Yehudit Oppenheimer, describing the lethal combination of the US administration and Israel's right-wing government. Oppenheimer is the director general of Ir Amim (City of Nations), a nonprofit group that promotes equality and coexistence among Jerusalem's diverse communities. As someone identified with Israel's political left, she believes that the election of Donald Trump has shredded the rules of the game.

While settlers are celebrating the rise of the new president as a miracle, feelings among the Israeli left range from chronic stress to sheer terror. Now they are busy trying to find ways to stay positive, and so far they have not been particularly successful.

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