Any Republican candidate better than any Democrat

Council for Republicans Overseas Israel says that Israelis want to see a candidate who is unequivocally pro-Israel.

Raphael Poch ,

Donald Trump at Jewish Republican Coalition
Donald Trump at Jewish Republican Coalition

Abe Katsman, a Jerusalemite and the Counsel for Republicans Overseas Israel, spoke to Arutz Sheva about Republican Presidential nominee hopeful Donald Trump’s recent comments about Israel, and gave some analysis as to what the future holds for Republican Presidential nominee hopefuls over the course of the primaries.   

The issues regarding Trump’s comments about Israel were blown out of proportion by Trump critics and the media last week, according to Katsman.

“If you watch the tape of what Trump said regarding Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, he didn’t say that he wouldn’t recognize it. He started to say he would first talk to [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu about it, but was then cut off by a heckler. This by itself is not a bad statement, nor a worrying one," said Katsman.  

More than that, Katsman correctly pointed out that Trump’s comments about Israel possibly needing to make more concessions for peace cannot be isolated from the rest of his words. "Trump immediately followed up the comments about Israeli concessions, by saying that Israel had already made many concessions they haven't been given credit for. As a person living in Israel I personally prefer someone who gives unqualified support to Israel, but Trump’s comments are not worrying to me, considering his overall record of statements about Israel.”

Trump, for his part, has no record of anti-Semitism, and has even generally been pro-Israel. Trump has even acted as the Grand Marshal of New York's Israel Day Parade in 2004. He also has a daughter who converted to Orthodox Judaism.

“He is an outspoken person, and I think this issue has been overblown by his critics. I am not worried by his comments about Israel,” said Katsman. “Especially when taken into the context of everything else he has said about Israel.”

Trump, for all the publicity he has been getting, has reportedly only spent 300,000 dollars on his campaign, whereas Jed Bush has reportedly spent over 25 million, “and look where it has gotten him,” said Katsman. 

Katsman very emphatically clarified that it is the position of the Republicans Overseas Israel organization not to endorse any candidate until the primary process has been played out. Republicans Overseas Israel currently anticipates endorsing the Republican nominee for President, whomever that may be. “I would vote for any of the realistic Republican candidates ahead of any of the Democratic candidates,” he said.  

However, Katsman did talk about the tough road that all of the candidates have facing them in the future as the Republican party heads to the primaries beginning in February. “It is possible with this many strong candidates that no one is going to win an outright majority before the convention. Even if Trump wins all of the thirty percent of the delegates at stake in the winner take all primaries, he would still need to win a larger percentage of the proportionally allocated delegates than his polls currently indicate he will win in order to take the nomination.”

With regards to Trump, Katsman said he believes that “It seems that many people who are not for him, are very much against him,” something which he doesn't believe to be the case for other candidates such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or others. "So at the end of the day, it will be tough for him, as likely no one else will be looking to throw their support his way.”

Something else that Katsman said affects the value of the polls at this stage is that people don’t necessarily make up their minds this early into the primaries. "So Trump still likely has an uphill battle ahead of him."

"Also, We are dealing with a very fluid situation. If there are some new national security failures, such as more terror attacks, it will likely help Trump, as well as Cruz, Christie and Rubio, who all come across as strong on national security. Trump has very much been a creation of the push-back against Obama-ism. So, the worse things look for how Obama has handled national security, the better they will look for Trump.”