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Liberal US Jews recruit Democrats from all sides in anti-Trump fight

Seeking to capitalize on growing partisan backlash to President Donald Trump’s Middle East policies, the liberal Jewish lobbying group J Street has formed a surprising alliance with one of the Senate’s fiercest pro-Israel advocates.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) speaks with reporters ahead of the party luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 23, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RC13C084AA50

The increasingly partisan nature of US policy toward Israel was on full display when the liberal Jewish lobby J Street for the first time offered a prime speaking slot to one of the Jewish state’s most hawkish defenders during the organization's 10th annual conference today.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a staunch ally of Israel who was until recently the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations panel, stood out in a crowd of critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies, including the Palestinian envoy to the United States, Husam Zomlot. But like his fellow Jewish Senate speakers Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Cardin shared his disdain for some of the Donald Trump administration’s policies, including its threats to unilaterally withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran and ban refugees from several Muslim-majority nations.

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