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Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Next Tuesday, New York Republicans will be asked which candidate they favor for the Republican nomination. Jews – particularly Jews who care about Israel – have only two viable choices: Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Donald Trump ought to be a nonstarter.


He ought to be a nonstarter because not only does he know nothing about Israel, his statements about the Jewish state exude both apathy and arrogance – a devastating combination for an American ally reliant on the president’s recognition of its moral superiority.

Trump has no foreign policy worldview, and he has no baseline level of knowledge. He isn’t teachable; he isn’t malleable. He is, was, and always will be motivated chiefly by self-glorification, and he sees his role in the Middle East as that of Peacemaker.

Israel faced self-appointed peacemakers in Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Such peacemakers quickly come to realize they will find no flexibility from the Jew-hating Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas. So, in their quest for continuing relevance, the peacemakers pressure Israel to concede to its enemies, all the while justifying such pressure by blaming Israel for its intransigence.

Trump will do the same. He is convinced of his own unstoppable capacity for cutting a deal between Israel and those who wish to wipe the Jews off the face of the planet.

“That’s probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make,” Trump blathered on MSNBC in February. “It’s possible it’s not makeable because, don’t forget, it has to last. A lot of people say an agreement can’t be made, which is OK, sometimes agreements can’t be made [and they are] not good. I will give it one hell of a shot. I would say if you can do that deal, you can do any deal.”

Asked last month by George Stephanopoulos about negotiating an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, Trump dropped the word “deal” no less than 14 times in less than two minutes. Because cutting a “deal” with an entity dedicated to the destruction of its supposed peace partner is impossible, Trump refuses to acknowledge reality. Instead, he’ll ignore the moral component of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict altogether.

He says he wants to remain neutral: “Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I have friends of mine that are tremendous businesspeople, that are really great negotiators, [and] they say it’s not doable. 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.”

Of course, it’s the only thing that helps. Failure to recognize evil means forcing good people into conceding to evil people. Trump’s comments are equivalent to stating that it will be nearly impossible to cut a deal with ISIS, but the only way to do so would be for the West to get off its high horse and stop proclaiming its moral superiority.

That strategy would get a lot of Westerners killed. In fact, it already has. Now Trump wants to try it on Israel, too.

The rest of his Mideast policy is similarly self-centered and principle-free. While Cruz and Kasich abhor the Iran deal, Trump says he’ll leave it in place and simply “enforce” it – nonsensical verbiage, since the deal itself does not contain any serious provisions for consequences snapping into place. Why not just kill the deal outright? Trump put on his dealmaker hat to explain: “I love to buy bad contracts….I will make that agreement so tough and if they break it, they will have hell to pay.”

This is verbal detritus.

But that’s just the start. Trump suggested this week that the way to stop Iran from utilizing its $150 billion windfall to fund terrorism would be to sell the Iranians defective missiles. Yes, really. He has suggested that the United States rely on the Russians to handle ISIS, then reversed himself and said he’d put thousands of troops on the ground, then reversed himself again.

Trump has a Jewish daughter. So what? Barack Obama had a Jewish chief of staff, and he’s the most anti-Israel president in American history.

Meanwhile, Senator Cruz is the most pro-Israel candidate in American history. Cruz has repeatedly stood up for Israel’s moral right to defend itself, has castigated Israel’s enemies as genocidal Jew-haters, has attempted to kill the Iran deal repeatedly, has pledged to move the American embassy to Jerusalem on the first day of his administration, has vowed to cut off all American aid to the Palestinian Authority, and says we should defund the United Nations and withdraw federal funding from any institution boycotting Israel.

Kasich, too, represents a far stronger pro-Israel voice than Trump. Here’s Kasich in February: “Israel has given a lot of stuff back. They gave Gaza back. How is that working out? They have everything launching into Israel. I don’t know how you get a two-state solution when people are walking into your country and stabbing people…. we are not going to bully Israel; it’s their survival.”

Kasich has also defended Israeli settlements: “Why are they building more apartments? Because it’s land; it’s security. I would never, ever, ever jeopardize the security of that country. Never.”

This is not a difficult call for those who are pro-Israel. Trump’s value system revolves around himself. His support for Israel ebbs and flows – but no person who declares himself neutral in a moral battle between Israel and its enemies deserves Jewish votes.


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Benjamin Shapiro was born in 1984. He entered UCLA at the age of 16 and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in June 2004 with a BA in Political Science. He graduated Harvard Law School cum laude in June 2007. Shapiro was hired by Creators Syndicate at age 17 to become the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the U.S. His columns are printed in major newspapers and websites internationally.


  1. unless one of his daughter marries that chief of staff this argument is idiotic and irrelevant . Trump’s jewish daughter came about waaaaay before he became a presidential candidate…. before obamass ass sat in the presidential chair he didn’t know that chief off staff even existed….

  2. I can't believe the following statement was made about a self made multi-billionaire who has started and managed in excess of 500 buinesses all over the world in the last 45 years.

    "Trump has no foreign policy worldview, and he has no baseline level of knowledge. He isn’t teachable; he isn’t malleable. He is, was, and always will be motivated chiefly by self-glorification, and he sees his role in the Middle East as that of Peacemaker."

    Can you imagine someone with the likeability factor of Ted Cruz attempting to negotiate anything?

  3. So you want the most likable person in Washington DC? You think Washington DC is not corrupted enough? You say you hate Washington establishment, but you also say you don't like people who fight Washington and being hated by it. What's your logic?

  4. Sherry Yanhui Sherry the logic is simple. Cruz is so disliked that nobody will even deal with him. He has no savois-faire when it comes to getting people to see things his way or to even compromise when necessary. On the other hand, Trump has made a carreer out of getting people to bend to his position in order to get things done. I think it is a quality that is sorely missing in Washington, which has been feuding for 7 1/2 years. I don't know if you heard his speach last night at the GOP covention in NY but he had these NY big wigs eating out of his hand by all accounts. Washington is so broke, that it is going to take someone of his talents to mend things and get us back on track. IMHO

  5. What does likeable mean? I like Cruz because he is consistent, respects his own religion and mine. He has not been all over the place. He is also consistent on his opinions that I do not share, and that is ok because they do not hurt me. Trump is undergoing a transformation. I davka do believe that trump is teachable and malleable. But I have no idea who is or will be doing that.

  6. Who says Carter was a self-appointed peacemaker? Sadat and Begin get Credit; Vance merely told each side separately, without telling either what it had told the other, that US military aid might hinge on coming to table. So, Israel has a peace with Egypt and can act at will in Palestine. I do see Israel as a Western democracy, but less so as time passes due to rising nationalism. Trump, if a brash nationalist himself and needing a crash course in foreign policy, at least won't allow foreign states to presume on their relationships with the USA as Cruz might.

  7. Verner Hornung As I understand and as it has been reported, Trump started with a loan from his father of 2 million dollars. He had a brother and sister who were given the same opportunities as was he and although both are extremely successful, none come anywhere near approaching his level. Many people are born with golden spoons in their mouth and are unable to take their fortunes to new levels. I believe many people do not give Trump anywhere near the credit for the management and organizational skills he has attained. In my opinion and I realize we all have an opinion, but I believe that Trump is the best qualified candidate to take control of our country at this time in our history. Some Presidents are good war Presidents, some better in peace time etc. Trump I believe can fix the absolute mess to which we have devolved.

  8. I have nothing against Bush Sr. Bush Jr, Reagan – in fact, I voted for them – but what signifcant peace did they bring to Israel and the Palestinians? By the way, Trump may have had the wrong location, but he remembers Palestinians celebrating on 9/11. It just happened en masse in the Middle East, much smaller numbers in New Jersey.

  9. Trump is the *only* choice for Jews. Both Bernie and Hillary are anti-Israel, and Cruz is a Dominionist Christian (look it up).

    Ben Shapiro is in the bag for Cruz. Everyone knows that he has zero objectivity here.

  10. Ben Shapiro > Your judgement and integrity went straight down the toilet when you cast your lot with Michelle Fields, who has proven to be no more or less – a repeat extortionist and manipulating fraud. Since you have not denounced her for dragging you under the bus with her……..I can only conclude that Fields and yourself – are both 'employed' by the same Rino 'establishment' backing Cruz. Kudos to Breitbart for not drinking your cool aid and folding to your attempted
    blackmail. Cruz is a pathetic narcissist who has created NOTHING in his life. He will pander to anyone's bribes – to manipulate his path to power. A sleazebag who has no loyalty.

  11. Israel Hamakabi I don't know where you looked it up, but that's not even close to what Dominionism is. They want a country governed by *Christianity*. Not even slightly good for Jews.

    Remember, just because it's Muslims being beasts right now, it wasn't that long ago that it was Christians doing the same thing. It was Christians herding Jews into synagogues and setting them on fire. The US is what it is because Christians *aren't* allowed to run it in the name of Christianity.

  12. Lisa Liel So, are you one of those people to whom "Xian theocracy" means not prosecuting people for not violating their consciences by being forced to take part in abominations like homosexual "weddings?" Furthermore, your ignorance of the fact that there are a zillion different "Xians" with very little in common but the name doesn't speak very well for you. Traditional American Fundamentalist Protestants are too devoted to a future "messianic millennium" to settle for running a country. And I know because I used to be one.

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