Trump: ‘Do Not Worry, Israel’
Republican presidential front-runner Donald J. Trump on Monday doubled down on his suggestion that he would remain neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But in the same breath he reassured Israel that the U.S would take her side if attacked by its enemies.
During an hour-long town hall meeting aired live on Fox News in Las Vegas, Nevada Monday night, Trump told host Sean Hannity that if Israel would come under attack on his watch, “A hundred percent I would come to their defense.”
Trump pointed to a clause in the nuclear agreement that, reportedly, gives Iran the protection from outside attacks, to reassure Israel and the pro-Israel community that he’s committed to the Jewish state’s security. “You know that under the Iran deal – I haven’t seen this. Nobody has really seen it — but under the Iran deal, if Israel ends up attacking Iran because they are — you know, they see they are actually doing the nuclear — or if it’s the other way around, we have to fight with Iran. By the way, that’s not happening, folks. I don’t care,” he stressed. “Deals are meant to be broken in some cases, alright? I will rip that.”
“Do not worry, Israel. We will be there,” Trump declared.
Asked specifically to clarify his comments last week on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Trump responded: “I am a great friend of Israel. I was the Grand Marshal of the Israeli Day Parade. I have so many friends. There is nobody closer — and Bibi Netanyahu asked me to do a commercial for him, for his campaign. I did a commercial for him.” He also pointed to his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was in the audience, to tout his credentials on Israel.
But with regards to the ongoing conflict and the prospects for a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump reiterated his previous statement: “I have been told by people – very high-level people – it’s impossible because the hatred, especially on one side – I won’t even say which side – is so intense; it’s so incredible. And from the time they are two-years-old, they are told to hate, to hate, to hate. It’s got to be taken away. But here is the thing: I’ve been told this is the toughest of all deals. This is the toughest deal to make, okay? This is a deal that’s tough. I have had people that are very smart and great negotiators, involved in negotiations, that this deal, they have not been able to do it. I would like to do it, but I’d like to do it [as a neutral guy].”