Republican Jews Trust Trump on Israel, Dislike Hillary
Yes, there are some Jewish Republicans who are supporting Donald Trump for president, and they are not shy or apologetic about it.
While many Republican bigwigs skipped Trump’s nomination show in Cleveland, highlighting their distaste of Trump, those attending expressed their positive feelings towards the party’s standard-bearer. Citing Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State and the 2016 strongly-worded GOP platform on Israel, Jewish delegates and GOP loyalists – notably walking up and down the hallways of the Quicken Loans Arena or swarming the streets of downtown Cleveland – praised Trump as someone who will have the pro-Israel community’s back.
“I support Trump because he does what he says he will do,” said Paul Goodnick, a resident of Springfield, Maryland. “He is determined to get an appropriate peace between Israel and the Palestinians, not to walk away from it. He will defend Israel as much possible and do the right thing for Israel, and everything Israel will be doing he will support them in every way possible, as documented in the policy platform.”
“I trust him 100 percent,” Goodnick said, rephrasing it in Hebrew, Me’ah achuz.
Marc Zell, the co-chair of Republicans Overseas Israel chapter, stated that all of his initial concerns about Trump “have disappeared” when the GOP Platform Committee approved new Israel language that dropped any reference to the two-state solution. “The straw that broke this camel’s back was this past week,” Zell said in an interview on Monday, referring to the Republicans’ adoption of the amendment proposed by several pro-Israel groups last week. “This is the most pro-Israel plank of any party in the history of the State of Israel, and who helped us write that and approved it? Donald Trump.”
He added, “There is no question in my mind” that Trump is to be trusted on Israel. “We don’t know everything about Donald Trump,” Zell asserted. “On Israel, he is solid. I am convinced of it.”
Rachel Miselman, a delegate from Massachusetts, also trusts Trump when it comes to Israel. “I think he does recognize Israel as a strong ally,” she told Jewish Insider on Monday. “He has great respect for Israel, for Netanyahu. I think he understands that a secure and a strong Israel is of benefit to us.”
Others were comfortable with Trump, but an anti-Hillary Clinton stance drove that support. “Trump is far better for Israel, far better for our country, and that woman (Hillary Clinton) can’t be trusted,” said Jeff Sakwa, co-chair of the Michigan Republican Party, who is Jewish. “I am not giving the keys to Hillary Clinton. I don’t trust her. I got proof of what she has done already.”
“Clinton is a dishonest woman,” Suzanne Fuqua, a donor from New Mexico, who became a Trump supporter after attending a private dinner with the Republican nominee a few months ago. “The Arabs support her, and we are very anti-Islamic — whatever you want to call it. Twenty percent of her foundation is funded by the Arabs. She is so bad, and we are not going to let that happen.”
Michael Mukasey, a former Attorney General under President George W. Bush, shared the anti-Clinton message as he addressed the second night of the Republican convention. “Hillary Clinton is asking the people of this country to make her the president in history to take the constitutional oath of office after having violated it,” he said. “No way Hillary!”
Mukasey, an Orthodox Jew, did not mention the party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, by name. But stressed that how she treated government secrets as Secretary of State, “and what she said before and after she was caught, sums up the case against her.”
Paul Wharton, a delegate from Wisconsin, said he supports Trump because there’s no other choice. “Considering who the alternative is on the other party, there is no alternative,’ he said. “Given the fact that his son-in-law is Jewish, I believe he more than Hillary, who gives lip service to it, will be a strong supporter of Israel — and Netanyahu.”
Wharton is also okay with Trump receiving the support of white supremacist groups. “You know, a candidate, regardless of who he or she is, has no control over who may or may not like him,” he explained while acknowledging that Trump has turned off a lot of people in this election cycle. “But I haven’t heard Trump make any racists statements against African-Americans, or, for that matter, Jews.”
Miselman echoed the same sentiment. “I don’t think he should have a problem with Jewish voters. I really don’t see that,” she opined. “I think – on occasion – on social media, he hasn’t always used his best judgment. But we are talking about running the country. And so, I don’t necessarily see isolated incidents on social media as an allegory on running the country.”