Palestinian Human Rights Activist ‘Terrified’ by Trump Rhetoric

Michael Lavers, a 2016 A Wider Bridge Mission participant, writes (from Israel) on how Israelis and Palestinians are viewing the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.


A Palestinian human rights activist on Saturday suggested President-elect Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric fuels extremism.
“It’s not helpful,” Ziman CEO Samer Makhlouf told the Washington Blade at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Makhlouf made the comment during a meeting with more than two dozen people from the U.S. who were in the West Bank with A Wider Bridge, which describes itself as an “LGBTQ advocacy group building connections between the Israeli and North American LGBTQ communities.” The group arrived in Jerusalem two days after Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton sent shockwaves throughout the world.

Trump in the wake of the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., reiterated his call to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. He also said he would suspend immigration from countries with a “proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe and our allies.”

Trump in August said his administration would require potential immigrants to the U.S. to pass an “ideological test” that would include questions about LGBT rights. The president-elect told reporters that immigration is among his top three priorities once he takes office in January.

“I feel terrified (by) this kind of speech that is really polarizing the society in America,” Makhlouf told the Blade. “It’s also affecting everyone worldwide, especially in this part of the world.”

Makhlouf added Trump’s rhetoric also makes the prospect of a peace agreement between the Israelis and “even further.”

Continue reading in the Washington Blade