Jeb, Cruz Go After Trump For ‘Neutral’ on Israel
Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz pounded Donald Trump for suggesting that he would take a ‘neutral’ approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
During a televised MSNBC town hall Wednesday night in Charleston, South Carolina, the Republican presidential front-runner said he would be “sort of a neutral guy” on Israel. “You understand a lot of people have gone down in flames trying to make that deal. So I don’t want to say whose fault it is – I don’t think that helps,” he explained. “If I do win, there has to be a certain amount of surprise, unpredictability, our country has no unpredictability. If I win, I don’t want to be in a position where the other side now says, ‘We don’t want Trump involved.’”
During a town hall meeting in South Carolina on Thursday, Bush called Trump “naïve and wrong.”
“We have to have Israel’s back. I’ve made this commitment from day one that I would move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem because I think we have to send a signal to the world that we have Israel’s back, not just because of the important security relationship we have with Israel but also because the rest of the world wonders if we are serious,” Bush said. “For security purposes, for consistency purposes, we can’t say we are going to be a neutral party. It just won’t work.“
Ted Cruz also criticized Trump while speaking to a crowd of voters in Myrtle Beach on Friday, “If I’m President I have no intention of being neutral,” said Cruz. “When it comes to murderers and the citizens, I am not neutral.”
Trump did some damage control on Thursday as he shifted to lambaste President Obama for his treatment of Israel.
“What Obama has done to Israel is a disgrace,” Trump told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “How they even talk to us is hard to believe. How do they talk to Obama? I have friends, they support Obama and I say, ‘How do you do it?’ It’s almost like they do it out of habit. They agree he’s been terrible.”
“You look at what he’s done to Israel, with just this Iran deal, which is such a terrible deal,” Trump continued. “He has been the worst thing that’s ever happened to Israel. Now, a lot of my friends that are Jewish do not support him any longer. But I still have some that do. I say, ‘How can you do it?’”
The Republican presidential hopeful also heaped praise on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I like him, he’s strong,” said Trump. “He’s always been good to me.”