This great photo of the Republican frontrunner was taken by Mark Peterson, my longtime friend and colleague, at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting on Thursday. You can see it on Instagram, where Peterson cites the critique of Trump’s speech as anti-semitic. Here’s a pro-Israel yarmulke at the RJC, from Peterson.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews pointed out that Trump smeared President Obama as a secret Muslim sympathetic to the terrorists in that speech; but Matthews also said that Trump is responding to “antiwar” sentiment among rightwing voters: the desire that we “stop fighting stupid wars.”
At the Republican Jewish Coalition forum for presidential candidates on Thursday (12/3/15) Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz dutifully promised that they would shred the Iran deal on their first day in office, and move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem–as Netanyahu wants.
Zaid Jilani at the Intercept also cites Trump’s independence from the Israel lobby at the event:
Trump was asked about earlier comments he had made to an Associated Press reporter that he believes peace hinges on “whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things.”
Trump was quickly assailed after that comment by rival candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who argued that land rights and a peace deal were not the issue and that Trump shouldn’t “question Israel’s commitment to peace.”
Trump continued to take a considerably more even-handed approach to the issue than his rivals at the event on Thursday. “I said that you have to have a commitment to make [peace]. I don’t know that Israel has the commitment to make it. I don’t know that the other side has the commitment to make it,” he said.
“I’d like to go in with a clean slate, and just say, ‘Let’s go, everybody’s even, we love everybody and let’s see if we can do something.’”