Finally, it’s happening, the issue of Israel support is exploding into the presidential primaries. But on the Republican side. Donald Trump’s vow to be “neutral” in the conflict– which Chris Matthews said last night he’s never heard out of the mouth of a presidential candidate before–gave neoconservative favorite Marco Rubio an opening last night. In Houston, he threw red meat to the Israel supporters, and Rubio’s campaign put it online:
So we’re going to have a foreign policy of moral clarity. So let me give you a perfect example. Israel. Israel is the only pro American free enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East. Let me put it this way. If there were more Israels in th eMiddle East, more pro Amerian free enterprise democracy. the world would be so much safer. There’s only one. So they’re an incredible ally of the United States. And they don’t ask us to invade anybody. They havent asked us to station troops there. All they ask is look, if we that if they run out of bullets or weapons, resupply us, we’ll pay for it. And, and, if we get threatened as they are around the world. Like, the UN is obsessed with Israel. The UN doesn’t do anything about Fidel Castro and Raul Castro. The UN doesn’t do anything about North Korea, but every week they have a new resolution condemning Israel. That’s the new face of anti-semitism in the world, is all these anti-Israeli actions. They just ask us to support them. Well, we have a president right now that treats the prime minister of Israel with less respect than what he gives the ayatollah in Iran…
And again the frontrunner in this race, Donald Trump, has said he’s not going to take sides on Israel versus the Palestinian because he wants to be an honest broker. Well, there is no such thing as an honest broker in that because the Palestinian Authority, which have strong links to terror, they teach little kids, five year olds, that it’s a glorious thing to kill Jews. OK You watch their cartoons, it talks about how great it is to kill Jews. This is a terrible thing, and they’ve turned down deal after deal after deal. They don’t want a deal. They’ve already said, ‘We want to destroy Israel.’ So what are you going to negotiate? The rate of the destruction? The date of destruction? We will not be an impartial advocate when it comes to the issue of Israel. When I’m president, we’re going to take sides. We are going to be on Israel’s side.”
Jacob Kornbluh in Jewish Insider:
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump somewhat walked back his comments, stating, “I am with Israel one hundred percent.”
Bill Kristol must be happy. This was his advice to Rubio a few days ago:
Debate advice from a friend!
"After some Trump rant Rubio walks over and punches him in the face…puncturing his aura as successful bully."
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) February 24, 2016
So Rubio and Trump are both doing what Bernie Sanders refuses to do, make Israel support an issue. Sanders could be talking to the Democratic base on this question.
Thanks to James North.