Donald Trump spoke Monday night at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual Policy Conference and received rounds of applause and standing ovations. Trump began his speech at the conference by saying that he was a long-time supporter and “true friend of Israel.” The Republican presidential hopeful told the AIPAC audience that he sent his plane to fly New York Mayor Giuliani to Israel after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to show solidarity with terror victims. Trump said he sent his plane because he “backed the mission for Israel 100 percent.”
Trump further showed his support for Israel by mentioning that in 2004 he was the Grand Marshall of the “40th Salute To Israel” parade, “the largest single gathering in support of the Jewish state.” Trump said that during that time it was a very dangerous time for anyone to support Israel and while many others turned down the offer, Trump took the risk and he was glad he did. Trump then said he didn’t come to pander to the audience about Israel, which is “what politicians do…all talk, no action, believe me.” Trump said he came to speak about where he stood on the “future of American relations with our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship, and our cultural brother – the only democracy in the Middle East – the state of Israel.”
Trump gained even more applause and standing ovations from the AIPAC audience who were clearly enthused about Trump’s statements of support for the state of Israel. Trump talked about how he would dismantle the current $150 billion deal with Iran, dismantle their global terror network, and hold Iran accountable. In Trump rhetoric, he said he “would enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before.” Trump then voiced his opinion on how the United Nations was weak and incompetent, and not a friend of democracy, freedom, to the U. S. and “surely not a friend to Israel.”
Trump then started to denounce Obama, saying “with President Obama in his final year – yay,” bringing more applause from the AIPAC conference. Trump said Obama “may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel.” Trump continued, saying that an agreement imposed by the UN between Israel and Palestine would be a “total and complete disaster.”
“The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto, which I will use as President, 100 percent.”
Trump continued with emphasis on relations between Israel and Palestine by saying deals involve both parties coming together and negotiating, with each party giving up something of value in exchange for what each party requires. Trump said the UN’s imposition of an agreement would only “deligitimize” Israel further. Trump told the AIPAC audience that the imposed UN deal would only reward Palestinian terrorism, saying you can only treat that kind of behavior by confronting it.
Trump continued detailing how he would ensure that Palestine would come to the table knowing that the U. S. and Israel were strong allies of each other. Trump concluded his speech by saying that he had been a long-time supporter of Israel, had received many awards from Israel and that his daughter Ivanka would soon be giving birth to a Jewish baby.
Not all members in attendance of the AIPAC conference agreed with Trump, however. The Washington Post said that hundreds of rabbis and others stood when Trump took the podium and simply walked out of the AIPAC conference in protest. Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, leader of a prominent DC Modern Orthodox synagogue told the Post that he stood immediately, put on a prayer shawl, and shouted, “Do not listen to this man. He is wicked. He inspires racists and bigots.” Security removed Herz with no resistance from the rabbi.
Even though thousands of people cheered and applauded Trump at the AIPAC conference, leaders of AIPAC soon gave a public apology to Obama, expressing regret for the attack on him by Donald Trump on their stage, and the loud applause from audience members. According to JTA, Lillian Pinkus, the newly elected president of AIPAC, was joined by other AIPAC lay and professional leaders when she said, “While we may have policy differences, we deeply respect the office of the President of the United States and our President Barack Obama.” Apparently not all of the members in the audience were applauding Trump as previously thought.
What do you think about the AIPAC conference leaders’ denunciation of Donald Trump’s comments about President Obama?
[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci]