Senate Democrats dispute Obama’s decision on Israel boycotts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have opened a rare public feud with President Barack Obama over a congressional effort to discourage America’s trading partners from targeting Israel with politically motivated boycotts and sanctions.

Minority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats voiced objections to Obama’s decision not to implement provisions in a trade law that seek to protect Israel from being punished economically for its treatment of Palestinians.

They say the so-called boycott, divestment and sanctions movement tracks with growing anti-Semitism around the world.

Obama opposes the movement. But his administration objects to language it says conflates Israel with “Israeli-controlled territories.” That’s a reference to the West Bank, which Israel captured decades ago but the Palestinians demand for part of their future state.

The U.S. considers Israeli West Bank settlements illegitimate.