After AIPAC: Voting in November

Whomever the Republicans put up in July gets my vote in November. To vote for Hillary would be incomprehensible.

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fischer,

Rabbi Prof. Dov Fisch
Rabbi Prof. Dov Fisch
צילום: PR

I watched Donald Trump’s speech and the whole day of AIPAC events on the C-SPAN cable television station.  It was a fabulous speech, except for his one concerning reference to  “Palestine.”  I suspect his advisors will assure that he not say that again.  And I was thrilled that the vast majority of people there acknowledged his effort at friendship with Israel by responding with loud applause and standing ovations — so that he would not leave with the James Baker way of thinking about “[ ] the Jews — They don’t vote for us anyway.”  He really got enormous applause and standing ovations, and his speech was incredibly pro-Israel.

Even before his speech, I was persuaded that, no matter what, a demonstrable walk-out by Jewish leftists among the Reform rabbinate would be unhelpful, even disastrous — leaving behind much of the same damage that the Jews of the Soros Left and the Reform rabbinate traditionally impose on all of us.  After all, if the guy says and promises exactly what we want and hope for, and yet we walk out on him anyway, then how can we blame him later for focusing on other more reliable constituencies, like constituencies that do not care about Israel?

Trump’s comment that he would move America’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem was a wonderful turnabout as well.  It sounded nice for the ten seconds he spoke that sentence.

If I am dubious about Trump,  at least he said the right things.  I am not dubious about Hillary.  Her record is unmistakable.
There is only one problem: how can I trust him?  In reality, I cannot.  He has a record of twenty-plus years as a friend of Jews and of Israel, but others from New York also went on to careers in Washington, D.C. bringing with them a prior New York political record replete with Jewish friends: Franklin Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton.  And yet history teaches that Roosevelt consigned Jews to death by the tens and hundreds of thousands.  And history also teaches that Hillary is to be feared by Israel.

After the speeches die, when the time comes for tachlis, actions, that is what matters. Anyone who tells Jews that they may not build Jewish homes in Jerusalem must be feared by Israel. Nor can israel take comfort in a Secretary of State who laid the groundwork for the Iran Nuke Deal, who did the “re-set” with Putin that saw him take Crimea and threaten the Ukraine. A person who lied to the families of those Americans who gave their lives in Benghazi, heroically serving their country. The person who screamed on the telephone at the Prime Minister of the Jewish State.  The person who conducted a personal campaign of destruction against Paula Corbin Jones and against Kathleen Willey and against Gennifer Flowers and against Monica Lewinsky and against Juanita Broaddrick.  This is not a friend on whom Israel can rely.

If I am dubious about Trump,  at least he said the right things.  I am not dubious about Hillary.  Her record is unmistakable.

So the only question now is:  Will Trump reliably stand by what he said at AIPAC?  Did he do his turn-around on moving the embassy and on “neutrality”  (i) because he cynically was looking to garner electoral support and quiet opposition . . .  or (ii) because he quietly sought to be educated and therefore listened to some people he trusts?  No one but he knows.

Because I don’t know, I cannot trust him.  After all, Ronald Reagan promised to move the embassy; he did not.  Whenever there is a Democrat in the White House, the Republicans promise to move the embassy.  They all lie.  Then when the Republicans are in office, the Democrats promise to move the embassy.  And they all lie.  They all have lied — including Joe Lieberman, Orthodox Jew, who turned 180 degrees on the embassy move when Al Gore nominated him as his running mate in 2000.  So they all historically have lied about moving the embassy.

More than I was impressed by Trump’s change of words, though, I was impressed by his change of demeanor at the AIPAC speech.  He was a very different person.  Not the person who mocked a palsied journalist’s physical deformity and handicap or who raved about personally having seen thousands upon thousands of Arabs in Jersey City dancing on rooftops when the Twin Towers fell.  I was impressed by his demeanor, by his language at AIPAC.  I wondered whether Donald Trump could play that dignified role, even if acting. And again, yes, I was impressed by his exceptionally pro-Israel words and his statement that he would move the embassy.  Just one problem: I just do not trust him.

But I do not trust Clinton either.  And I trust that Kasich, who really means well and is a swell guy, will bring four more years of “Two State Solution” and “Building Freeze” and the George Bush/Condoleezza Rice approach.  That is not my flavor either. Anyway, Kasich’s candidacy is going nowhere.  So far he has won 1 of 29 primaries.  I expect that his winning percentage will start dropping from now on.

That maintains Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, as my #1 choice.  I trust him as much as I ever have trusted a candidate — ever mindful, as I recite daily in my prayers, not to trust princes or the sons of men, for they offer no salvation.  But, as these things go, Ted Cruz is my guy.  He will lose in Cleveland at the July convention, but maybe he will come to the convention with enough delegates to bargain for something valuable.   

And whichever/whomever the Republicans put up in July gets my vote in November. To vote for Hillary would be incomprehensible.

Perhaps Trump will negotiate a deal like this one:  Offer Kasich the Vice Presidential slot.  Kasich, with one solitary win and few delegates, probably will jump at the opportunity.  (By contrast, Cruz would never take a job that requires him to hold his peace for four years. He would not want it.)  Kasich knows that the VP slot would give him the inside road in four or eight years to run for President.  With Kasich, the Republicans probably carry Ohio. Trump takes Florida.  I think Trump gets Michigan.  And maybe more Midwestern states that the Democrats have been winning like Pennsylvania.  Again, I did not want Trump.  But this is what is left. 

Trump might also make a deal for Cruz’s delegates by offering Cruz two things: (1) Attorney-General, and (2) a secret deal that only Trump and Cruz would know, allowing Cruz to name all Supreme Court justices when seats become open.  No one would be privy to that deal but the two of them.  For each opening, Trump would go through the motions of consulting and vetting, meeting candidates, interviewing them, the whole charade, but the secret deal would be that Cruz’s choices would be the ones whom Trump actually would name for each such opening.  I think that could buy Cruz’s delegates.  Another reason that I want Cruz to go to Cleveland with enough delegates to horse-trade.  Maybe they have not thought of such a deal.  Maybe they will.

And then they can turn their attention to cleaning up the mess of the last eight years.  And Israel can get a moment’s rest and healing.