By: Dave Gordon
Donald Trumpis the outsider who trounced political
insiders, a presidential candidate whose brash, controversial and often baffling statements have made him the top news item for the past year.
But how does one get past the flurry of media speculation, bipartisan criticism and campaign messages, to find out how – or if – Trump is the right candidate for this community?
His positions on Israel and the Jewish people have been relatively clear, except for a statement made during the Republican debates, where he said he’d be “neutral” in the Israel/Palestinian issue.
In March, he addressed AIPAC (the major Israeli lobbyist group), proclaiming that he sent his own airplane to Israel with New York mayor Rudy Giuliani “to show solidarity with terror victims.” In 2004, Trump continued, he was the grand marshal of the 40thSalute to Israel Parade. “When I become President, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on Day One,” he insisted.
Trump was outspoken against President Obama’s possibly forcing Israel into concessions by leveraging the power of the United Nations. “A total and complete disaster,” he called the plan. “A deal that imposes conditions on Israel and the Palestinian Authority will do nothing to bring peace. It will only further delegitimize Israel and it would reward Palestinian terrorism.”
Trump acknowledged the immorality of the Palestinian madrassas and the media preaching hatred towards Jews. If elected President, he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”
On the topic of the Iran deal, Trump said, “We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return. Literally every day, Iran provides more and better weapons to support their puppet states.” In June of 2016, he gavea speech on Islamic extremism, saying, “If we don’t get tough, and we don’t get smart – and fast – we’re not going to have a country anymore –
there will be nothing left. I refuse to allow America to become a place where (non-Muslims) are the targets of persecution and intimidation by Radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence,” he finished
Moreover, Trump lambasted the Obama administration for not providing immigration history of the known terrorists inside the United States. There is no plan for security under Obama or Clinton, he insisted. “We must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place,” Trump stated. On Aug. 15, Trump called for “a new screening test” to exclude all those with “hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Shariah law should supplant American law.”
Perhaps more important than Trump’s verbal track record, however, is the general Jewish consensus. What do prominent fellow Jews in the upper echelons of conservative punditry think of Trump? Communityexamined the positions of Ezra Levant, Daniel Pipes, Dennis Prager, Ben Shapiro, and David Frum to find out.
Pundit: Ezra Levant
Bio:The editor of TheRebel.media and the author of “Groundswell: The Case for Fracking” and “Ethical Oil,” Levant also had a national syndicated column on politics.
Levant, a supporter of Trump, recently responded to allegations that Trump was “anti-Semitic,” after a
now-deleted Tweet from his campaign showed this trifecta: An image of Hillary Clinton, several dollar bills, and the words “most corrupt candidate ever,”inside a six-sided “star.” Some believed that the star was a Star of David, and the juxtaposition with money made it seem anti-Semitic. A campaign spokesperson said it was actually a sheriff’s star. In response to the controversy, the shape was changed toa “circle” less than two hours later.
The director of Trump ‘s social media campaign, Daniel Scavino, says Trump “proudly celebrates” Jewish holy days with his family, noting the impossibility of his bearing
ill-will towards Jews given that his daughter and son-in-law are Jewish. The ridiculousness of the charge was reinforced by one report of Levant’s, which noted that “all of Donald Trump’s children are either married to or dating Jews” and that his company, Trump Organization, is practically led by Jews. (The Executive Vice Presidents are Michael Cohen and Jason Greenblattand the Chief Financial Officer is Allen Weisselberg.) It doesn’t end there. Leading Trump’s campaign are speechwriter Stephen Miller; communications coordinator Michael Abboud; and finance chair Steve Mnuchin. “So, everywhere Trump goes, he’s pretty much outnumbered by Jews,” enthuses Levant.
Here’s a little-known fact: Trump filed a discrimination lawsuit some two decades ago against the city of Palm Beach, Florida because the law “on the books” restricted Jews and Blacks from entering his Mar-a-Lago resort club. They backed down under pressure from Trump and changed the law to make it more inclusive.
Bio:Daniel Pipes is the President of the Middle East Forum and an Affiliate Professor at the University of Haifa. His bi-weekly column appears regularly in the Washington Timesand in newspapers around the globe. The author of sixteen books, his special interests include the role of Islam in public life, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and US foreign policy. He served in five presidential administrations between the years of
1982 and 2005.
Pipes has slammed Trump on what he believes to be his unclear and inconsistent messages regarding radical Islam. In Pipes view, Trump began with banning Muslims, then, after much criticism, switched to banning Radical Muslims.
Pipes has called Trump “boorish, selfish, puerile, and repulsive,” as well as a flip-flopper. From Pipes’ perspective, Trump does not embrace conservative principles, limited government, moral order and a foreign policy that reflects American interests and values. “With Hillary Clinton, however,” he noted, “we know what we get and we know it is rotten.” Pipes continued, “with Trump, it’s more complex, as we have no idea what’s in store. Optimists could be right and Trump permits himself to be contained by wise heads. He finally understands that policy making differs from sitting on a television set and giving opinions.”
Pipes has quit the Republican Party due to Trump’s candidacy, (at least for now), but will support Republican senators and congressmen.
Bio:A SeniorEditor at The Atlantic and the author of “An End to Evil,” “The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush”, and “Why Romney Lost (And What The GOP Can Do About It”), Frum was also a speechwriter for George
W. Bush in 2001-2002.
“The RepublicanParty is ill, and it has been ill for a long time,” claimed Frum. He differs with Pipes’ course of action, however, believing that “quitting won’t help.” Rather, he insists, “an American political party can only be reformed from within. Yet in the end, Trump is a creature not of the congressional leadership, or the Republican elite, but of the voters upon whom any future center-right presidential candidacy must be based.”
Pundit: Dennis Prager
Bio:Dennis Prager is one of America’s most respected radio talk show hosts. He has been a broadcaster for some thirty-five years and a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of six books, including his latest, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
Prager takes a pragmatic approach to all of this, explaining that Trump is the lesser of the two evils. But he has not hesitated to criticize Trump on scores of issues, including his incivility, gaps in knowledge and lack of conservative principles – all of which he says are “quitetroubling. Though, I might add, it is even more troubling that virtually all Democrats ignore the even worse character of Hillary Clinton.” Prager continues, “In the 2016 presidential race, I am not interested in moral purity. I am interested in defeatingthe left and its party, the Democratic Party. The notion that we can live with another four years of a Democratic president is, forgive me, mind-boggling.”
There are several major reasons that Prager feels a conservative
should prefer Trump for President. They are: to prevent a left-wing Supreme Court, to increase the defense budget, to prevent Washington DC from becoming a state and thereby giving Democrats another two permanent senators, to repeal Obamacare, to curtail illegal immigration, to reduce job-killing regulations, to lower the income tax, and to continue safe fracking oil extraction so as to not rely on Arab oil.
“Because I can chew gum and walk at the same time, I can vote for Donald Trump in the general election, while at the same finding much of what he does and says unacceptable,” Prager says. “As I explain to all those who ask, between a Republican I don’t want and a Democrat I don’t want, I will vote for the Republican I don’t want.”
Pundit: Ben Shapiro
Bio: Ben Shapiro is a conservativepolitical commentator, a nationally syndicated columnist,
a radio talk show host and the author of six books, the latest of which is Bullies: How
the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans.
Shapiro feels that his principles are at odds with Trump’s. Small government, free market and personal responsibility are among many ideologies that Trump does not believe in, according to Shapiro. “He stands for Planned Parenthood, trade restrictions, andthe targeting of political enemies,” noted Shapiro disdainfully.
In contrast, Shapiro believes, Hillary Clinton would strike down the second amendment, would nationalize industry, and would institute left-wing Supreme Courts. For Shaprio to switch his allegiance, Trump needs to reinforce his conservative beliefs, and do so consistently. If the evidence changes, my opinion may change,” he said in an interview.
So there we have it – a documented record of Trump’s statements and actions, in addition to a bevvy of influential Jews offering differing opinions on Trump’s viability as President. None of it is conclusive.
It is up to each individual person to decide whose opinion they agree with – to determine whether Trump is in fact the lesser of the two evils or an incompetent President in the making. Review his policies, heed the words of a commentator you trust and, come November, make an informed decision at the polls.