Front-running Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, generally hawkish on Muslims-vs.-West issues, has alarmed some pro-Israel elements in the United Statements with a speech he delivered on Thursday.
Peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority "has to do with Israel and whether or not Israel's willing to sacrifice certain things," Trump told the Jewish Republican Coalition. This, despite his acknowledgement that Israel had already made many difficult moves for the sake of a peace agreement.
Trump also made several remarks that were quickly accused of bearing anti-Semitic intonations. “I’m a negotiator like you folks are," he said, noting that if he had brokered the deal with Iran, it would have been on better terms for the West than the current deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary Kerry.
Later he said, not antagonistically, “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken." He added that the Jews would not support him for president "even though you know I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel… You're not going to support me because I don’t want your money.”
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel organization in the United States, announced that it was "alarmed, outraged and disappointed" by Trump's "factually inaccurate and ludicrous claim that a successful peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Arab dictators" depends on Israel and its willingness to make more sacrifices.
"In fact," the ZOA stated concisely, "peace depends on one thing: Whether Palestinian Arabs and their governing entities Hamas, the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, give up their decades-long goal of destroying Israel, murdering every Jew, and completely replacing Israel with a Palestinian Arab state 'from the river to the sea.'"
Among Israel's sacrifices over the years the ZOA counted giving away large swaths of historic Jewish land in Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza; offering generous "peace settlements" in 1937, 1947, 2000, and 2008; offering negotiations even as PA leader Mahmoud Abbas refuses to negotiate with Israel and honors terrorists; freezing settlement construction; and more.
The ZOA asks why Trump does not propose that America should make "sacrifices" to ISIS for peace, but rather calls for strengthening the U.S. military – and yet at the same time he proposes to weaken Israel with more "sacrifices [for peace] with the Palestinian Arab terrorist governments that incite Palestinian Arabs to murder, bomb, knife, and run over with their cars and trucks innocent Israeli civilians."
Mr. Trump should "review the history of Palestinian Arab war against Israel, and Israel's extraordinary unilateral peace efforts, and promptly correct his statement about who is responsible for the lack of peace," the organization concluded.
Regarding Trump's linkage of Jews with money and deal-making, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt actually publicly defended Trump from accusations of anti-Semitism. “He has made similar comments about spending his own money on the campaign, and not asking for money from donors, to many other groups,” Greenblatt wrote. He noted that Trump had also made similar generalizations about Mexicans, and has been accused of racism against other ethnic groups as well.
In a separate but related development, the head of the U.S. Republican Party in Israel said on Thursday that Donald Trump "should not and will not" be the president of the United States. Marc Zell told Army Radio that he is confident American voters will recognize that Trump "does not have the necessary qualities to lead his country."