Donald Trump joked about Jewish stereotypes, declined to affirm his support for a united Jerusalem, and told his audience they wouldn’t back him because he did not want their money. Reading from a prepared text, Ben Carson repeatedly pronounced the name of the Palestinian group “Hamas” as if it were a delicious spread made with chickpeas.
The performance of these two outsider candidates left attendees at Thursday’s summit of the Republican Jewish Coalition amused, but not impressed. With the RJC, an influential group of donors and activists that prioritizes American policy toward Israel, the retired neurosurgeon and the businessman faced a more politically sophisticated crowd than either is used to, and one more concerned with the nuances of foreign policy.Patrick O'Connor writes at The Wall Street Journal:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump provoked boos and jeers from an influential Jewish group here Thursday for refusing to recognize Jerusalem as the undisputed capital of Israel.
The businessman also questioned Israel’s willingness to negotiate a sweeping Middle East peace deal with the Palestinians, a stance challenged earlier in the day by one of his top rivals, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“I don’t know that Israel has a commitment to make a deal,” Mr. Trump told hundreds of members of the Republican Jewish Coalition who gathered a few blocks from the White House to hear from each of the GOP candidates.