Donald Trump’s agenda was filled with Jewish issues today. Perhaps most notably, the GOP hopeful said he would know the pathway for Israeli-Palestinian peace within six months if elected president, and would have a plan in place after just “one sit-down.”
He also addressed the Republican Jewish coalition today in a speech some are characterizing as filled with anti-Semitic tropes regarding Jews and their love of money.
Let’s break down the last four hours.
At the RJC, he implied he would not win the Jewish vote in the Republican primary, which he currently leads, because he is not seeking donor funds. Some reporters interpreted this to be a callback to the trope that Jews enjoy earning power by controlling pursestrings.
“Stupidly, you want to give me money…you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”
He also talked about the notorious $43 million Afghanistan gas station, saying, “How many of you think you could have done it for less? I’m a negotiator, like you folks.”
“Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals?” he continued later. “Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
The New York Times reported some of the comments were met with displeased silence, with the most tense moment coming when Trump seemed to imply that the status of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should be up for bargaining.
“I don’t know if Israel has the commitment to make it,” he said, referring to sacrifices in the name of achieving a two-state solution.
In an Associated Press interview, the billionaire candidate towed the same line, saying, “I have a real question as to whether or not both sides want to make it,” adding he had doubts about “one side in particular.” He would not say which side he doubted.
“A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things,” Trump said. “They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.”
“If I win, I’ll let you know six months from the time I take office,” he added. “I’ll be able to tell in one sit-down meeting with the real leaders.”
The AP made a point of mentioning that “numerous US presidents in both parties have tried to broker a peace accord without success.”