‘Violence towards Israel is violence towards us,’ Trump tells haredi magazine.
By David Rosenberg
First Publish: 5/5/2016, 11:11 AM
Trump at Q and A
One day after real estate mogul Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, a haredi magazine published an interview with the Manhattan billionaire in which the GOP standard-bearer discussed Iran, Israel, the rise of anti-Semitism around the world, and Jewish support for the Democratic Party.
The interview, which appeared in Wednesday’s Mishpacha magazine, continued along the lines of his recent staunchly pro-Israel comments earlier this week, in which he urged Israel to keep building in Judea and Samaria.
Again contradicting prior statements he made in February, promising to be neutral vis-à-vis Israel and the Palestinian Authority, now Trump says he would stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel.
“[V]iolence towards Israel is also violence towards us,” Trump said toMishpacha.
“I believe that an American President should clarify that we appreciate our friends and that violence towards Israel is also violence towards us and it transfers a reverberating message. Throughout the entire world, they will get the message: This won’t stand.”
Trump also issued his harshest criticisms to date of the Obama administration’s handling of the US-Israeli relationship, as well as the Iranian nuclear deal.
“Obama strengthened Iran and weakened you,” Trump said.
“I think that Obama has strengthened Iran and made them wealthy,” said Trump, referring to the unfreezing of Iranian assets as part of last year’s nuclear deal. “He weakened Israel in this sense. It’s dangerous.”
Trump also argued that Obama’s Middle East policy and rhetoric regarding Israel had serious repercussions for Jews around the globe, suggesting that the president had emboldened anti-Semites and was partially to blame for the rise in European anti-Semitism.
“Look, they see that you are a haredi Jew,” Trump said. “They see you. They also learned that they can do whatever they want without paying a price. Obama taught them that.”
Turning to American Jewry, the New York billionaire expressed his amazement at Jewish support for the Democratic Party, noting with incredulity that most Jews had backed Obama and would likely back Hillary Clinton.
“I do not understand why the Jewish community supported Obama or why they like Hillary Clinton. Maybe it’s out of habit. The truth? I think that he loves Iran more than he loves Israel.”