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Trump Irks Jewish Donors With Comments on Mideast Peace

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THE JEWISH donors gathered Thursday had two demands of the Republican presidential candidates who’d come to speak to them: unambiguous support for Israel and respect. (ILLUSTRATION: In this Feb. 17, 2011 file photo, Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson addresses the media during the grand opening ceremony of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Casino billionaire Adelson spent more on the 2012 federal elections than any other donor, putting up about $90 million of his family’s money. His willingness to make a huge political investment helps explain why his signature group, the Republican Jewish Coalition, has attracted all of the major GOP presidential candidates to its forum Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 in Washington – even though the man himself won’t be among the 700 people in attendance.)

Donald Trump seemed to fail at both.

The party’s 2016 front-runner openly questioned Israel’s commitment to the Mideast peace process in his remarks to the Republican Jewish Coalition, echoing comments he made the night before in an interview with The Associated Press. He drew boos after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the nation’s undivided capital. And he suggested to the influential group simply wanted to install a puppet in the White House.

“You’re not going to support me even though you know I’m the best thing that could happen to Israel,” Trump said. “I know why you’re not going to support me — because I don’t want your money. You want to control your own politician.”

It was an extraordinary speech to a group used to deferential treatment. And Trump’s comments on Israel — particularly the billionaire businessman’s repeated questioning of its commitment to making a peace deal with the Palestinians — sparked an aggressive backlash from his Republican rivals.

“Some in our own party — in the news today — have actually questioned Israel’s commitment to peace,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told the crowd. “Some in our own party actually call for more sacrifice from the Israeli people. They are dead wrong, and they don’t understand the enduring bond between Israel and America.”

The primary benefactor of the Republican Jewish Coalition is casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who spent more on the 2012 federal elections than any other donor. Adelson’s willingness to make a huge political investment helps explain why his signature group attracted all of the major GOP presidential candidates to its forum in Washington — even though the man himself wasn’t among the hundreds in attendance.

On the eve of the event, Trump weighed in on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an interview with The Associated Press. He questioned for the first time both sides’ commitment to peace, adding that he would know within six months of being elected president whether he could broker an elusive peace accord.

He doubled down on those comments Thursday in an auditorium packed with Israel’s most loyal supporters.

“I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it, and I don’t know the other side has the commitment to make it,” Trump said.

The comment drew murmurs of disapproval. Later, a smattering of boos broke out after he refused to say whether Jerusalem should serve as the undivided capital of Israel, a priority for many in America’s pro-Israel lobby.

Trump shrugged off the criticism. “Do me a favor, just relax,” he told one of the people booing. Perhaps more than any other candidate, he can afford to.

The billionaire frequently calls himself a “self-funded” candidate. Compared to his rivals, he has raised — and spent — dramatically less, depending largely on free publicity to drive his campaign. He began his candidacy by loaning his campaign almost $2 million and has suggested a willingness to spend much more of his own money.

Yet he hasn’t ignored donors altogether. Fundraising records show that supporters have handed over $4 million, enough to cover his presidential efforts in recent months.

Regardless of his relationship with donors, Trump’s comments mark a sharp contrast from his Republican rivals who pledged unconditional allegiance to Israel. Several candidates blasted him from the stage.

“This is not a real estate deal with two sides arguing over money” Rubio said. “It’s a struggle to safeguard the future of Israel.”

Said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, “We need a president who will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seemed to target Trump when he mentioned that some in his party support the “head-scratching” proposal that Mideast peace is possible only if Israel and the Palestinians both come to the table.

“I want to say where have you been for the last 70 years?” Huckabee charged.

Trump’s comments also fell flat among many Thursday’s crowd.

Michael Leventoff, a New York businessman and member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Trump questioning Israel’s commitment to the peace process is another example of him “just getting it wrong.”

“There’s plenty of evidence of Israel’s repeated attempts at peace,” he said. “This is exactly why Trump is what I like to call a brilliant idiot. He should know better, and probably does.”

Trump told RJC members that while he doesn’t want their money, he does want their support. He noted he has won several awards from Jewish groups and recently said he has “a very good relationship” with Adelson.

The casino magnate has yet to make up his mind how who he’ll support in the GOP primary, said Adelson’s political adviser, Andy Abboud.

Each of the candidates is strong on the issues that concern Adelson the most, chief among them protection of Israel, he said. “The Adelsons are generally pleased with all of the Republican candidates and feel that the primary process will work its way out.”

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Source: ABC News

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1 Comment

  1. WHITE_WARRIOR
    15 December, 2015 at 10:38 pm — Reply

    Donald Trump – the great white hope – don’t make me laugh.

    His son has shacked up with a Jewess. His daughter is married to a Jew and she has converted to Judaism. Trump thinks Israel is the best place on earth – our gallant democratic ally in the middle-east.

    And who is behind the flooding of the west with hopping mad Muslims, hopping mad because we in the west have totally destroyed their homes – well the Jews of course. Who was ‘really’ responsible for destabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan? Jews of course! And who considers all the land between the Nile and the Euphrates to be theirs – well Jews of course. And what will the Jews do with all the non-Jews currently occupying this land? Send them to the west of course – where else? Trump knows this – and this is why I consider him to be a piece of filth – more filthy than the others. He is giving false hope to the voters packaged in a “I do care” wrapping.

    Trump is doing what his Jewish handlers want – to offer the lemmings a supposedly valid alternative to the other Presidential nominees when in fact he can do nothing to address the real problem facing the west which is the Jew.

    There are many other things I could say about Trump and his policies, but let’s just focus on one. Let’s look at his policy on Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) and US industries operating out of Mexico. Pure baloney!

    Why?

    To reverse both trends he would have to abolish NAFTA – and this will not happen – and Trump knows it. He is simply telling the lemmings what they want to hear – nothing more – nothing less!! He has always been a salesman and many Americans are falling for his ‘snake-oil’ sales pitch again!!

    We should all know by now that a democratic solution to our problems is no solution at all. Democracy is a failure and always has been! It has been used by the Jews to control the levers of government, the banking system and the war machine. Just take a look at that other piece of filth who wants to be President – Hilary Clinton – the self-professed champion of women’s rights. She conveniently ignores the fact that Israel is the world centre of the white slave trade in gentile women from Eastern Europe. How I despise politicians – let me count the ways!!!!

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