“Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.” (Deuteronomy 1:13)
In case you haven’t heard the news, billionaire businessman and television personality Donald Trump is running for President of the United States. Chief of the Trump Organization, a holding company for his varied business ventures and investments, Trump is currently battling it out for the Republican nomination in 2016.
Here are his stances on a range of issues of importance to Israel:
Surprisingly, Trump has yet to offer his opinion regarding the two-state solution. However, in a 2013 interview with Arutz Sheva, Trump’s former adviser quoted the GOP candidate as criticizing US President Barack Obama for using the foreign policy success of killing terrorist Osama Bin Laden to pressure Israel to withdraw to 1967 borders as part of a peace agreement.
The former adviser reiterated Trump’s accusation of US Secretary of State John Kerry for pushing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at the expense of other key areas of foreign policy, including combating Islamic terror and halting the Iranian nuclear program. He also described Trump as placing the blame for lack of peace not on Israel but on the Palestinians, who have rejected compromise offers and refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.
In a July 2015 interview with JNS, Trump said he is “not exactly thrilled” about America funding the Palestinian Authority to the tune of $500 million per year. “We have to help people that respect us, that want things to be done and properly done,” said Trump, counting the PA as one of many foreign aid recipients that misuses humanitarian funds and “take[s] advantage of the United States.”
Trump strongly opposes the nuclear deal signed between P5+1 world powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In his interview with JNS, Trump accused president Barack Obama of giving in to the Iranians during negotiations. He slammed American diplomatic team as “a bunch of babies negotiating.” However, regarding Iran, Trump stated, “They have great negotiators, and they’re making us look like fools.”
When asked during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News about how he would have handled negotiations differently, Trump answered, “I would double-up and triple-up the sanctions, and I would make [the Iranians] want to make a deal…I would have waited for them to call us.”
The billionaire also insisted that a nuclear deal must require onsite inspections anytime, anywhere. Trump also added that he would have demanded the release of the four Americans imprisoned in Iran before beginning negotiations.
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” Trump told JNS. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to Israel from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to Israel before me. The only one that’s going to give Israel the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.”
Regarding the Obama’s administration’s rocky relationship with Israel, Trump didn’t mince his words when criticizing the president for public displays against Israel. “I think President Obama is one of the worst things that’s ever happened to Israel,” he said. “I think he’s set back [Israeli] relations with the United States terribly, and for people and friends of mine who are Jewish, I don’t know how they can support President Obama. He has been very bad for Israel.”
Israel’s Right to Self-Defense/Security
Trump has been a strident supporter of Israel in its acts of self defense against missile attacks by Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
In his formal announcement for his 2016 presidential run, Trump criticized Obama’s desire to make a deal with Iran, specifically in terms of the threat it poses to Israel’s security: “He makes that deal, Israel maybe won’t exist very long. It’s a disaster and we have to protect Israel.”