The Candidates Feed the Pro-Israel Community’s Fears and Aspirations

The red carpet was out for presidential hopefuls in Washington, D.C. in March 2016. Four of the five remaining presidential candidates spoke to the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) about their thoughts about the US-Israel relationship. Bernie Sanders, the only Jewish presidential candidate, opted to not address the committee advocating for the Jewish State.

Their approaches were quite different.

When it came to calling out Israel’s enemies or counter-parties, the Republican leaders led with the greatest number of mentions of: Iran; Palestinians; Terror; and Hamas. However, Republican candidate John Kasich was much more like Democrat Hillary Clinton than fellow Republicans.

Number of Mentions in Their Speechs

 Item Hillary Kasich Cruz Trump
Iran 11 11 11 16
Palestinian 10 7 5 11
Terror/ism/ist 6 7 10 11
Hamas 2 2 7 2
Islam/Muslim 0 0 3 4
TOTAL 30 27 36 44

Kasich was the only candidate to mention Libya, which he did three times.  The failing country which is becoming a haven for terrorists would have been an easy mark for Republicans to mention, as the overthrow of the Libyan government was spearheaded by Hillary Clinton. Neither the other Republicans nor Hillary herself chose to bring it up.

Ted Cruz highlighted that Trump mentioned “Palestine” three times, even though no such entity currently exists.

Interestingly, Trump was the only person to mention the United Nations, which he did three times, including this quote: “The United Nations is not a friend of democracy. It’s not a friend to freedom. It’s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as all know, it has its home. And it surely isn’t a friend to Israel.”

trump aipac
Donald Trump at AIPAC
March 2016 (photo: Associated Press)

When it came to positive terminology, including words such as: democracy; values; Israel and Jerusalem, Hillary Clinton stood out compared to the other candidates.

Number of Mentions in Their Speeches

 Item Hillary Kasich Cruz Trump
Security 17 10 5 3
Israel 65 46 31 31
Jerusalem 0 3 1 1
Democracy 4 2 1 3
Values 5 4 1 1
TOTAL 91 65 39 39

Both Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz came out against the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) movement, Cruz, doing so very forcefully.  But the candidates were otherwise silent on the Israeli economy and America’s trading relationship. Hillary Clinton, uniquely, went out to describe improving the Palestinian economy.

Yet, interestingly, despite the positive tone of Clinton, she was the only candidate that did not mention Jerusalem. While Kasich mentioned Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel, he did not say that he would move the US embassy there, as both Trump and Cruz said they would.

Hillary was also the only candidate to mention Jewish “settlements,” which she condemned saying that they were “damaging” to peace.  She did not mention “settlements” in her 2008 address to AIPAC.  Of course, that was an address that was made after seven years of George W. Bush’s administration, not Barack Obama’s who has repeatedly called Jewish homes east of the Green Line (EGL) as “illegitimate.”

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Conference's morning general session at the Verizon Center in Washington March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses AIPAC in Washington March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

All four candidates threw out lots of red meat for the pro-Israel crowd of over 18,000 during an election season. However, Hillary Clinton opted to continue the Obama administration approach of underscoring Israel’s security, while minimizing labelling radical Islamic terrorism, and undermining fundamental Jewish rights and history in the holy land.

The comments made at AIPAC represent the most extreme pro-Israel actions that any of the presidential candidates may ever pursue, if elected.  The American pro-Israel community still has a few months to watch and listen to the candidates and decide who will proudly stand by Israel.


Related First.One.Through articles:

A Simple Question for Hillary Clinton on Israel

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Trump Fails to Understand that Jews Want Peace, not a Deal

While Joe Biden Passionately Defends Israel, He Ignores Jewish Rights and the History of the Jewish State

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2 thoughts on “The Candidates Feed the Pro-Israel Community’s Fears and Aspirations

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters | FirstOneThrough

  2. Pingback: Bernie Sanders is the Worst U.S. Presidential Candidate for Israel Ever | FirstOneThrough

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