After Super Tuesday surges, questions remain on Israel for Trump and Clinton

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( Businessman Donald Trump and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton dominated the Super Tuesday primaries, with the most recent projections showing Trump in possession of more than 300 Republican delegates—nearly 100 more than his closest opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)—and Clinton's more than 1,000 Democratic delegates far surpassing the 408 of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

The results cemented Trump and Clinton as the likely nominees of their respective parties for the 2016 election in November. The results also come just days after Trump was criticized for his belief that he should not take sides regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which he expressed in the final GOP debate before Super Tuesday last week. Trump defended his view, telling Israel Hayom in an interview published last Friday that his “friendship with Israel is stronger than any other candidate’s.”

“I want to make one thing clear: I want to strike a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It is what I aspire to do. Peace is possible, even if it is the most difficult agreement to achieve. As far as I understand, Israel is also interested in a peace deal. I’m not saying I'll succeed, or even that an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is within reach, but I want to try. But in order for an agreement to happen, the Palestinians need to show interest. It's a little difficult to reach an agreement when the other side doesn't really want to talk to you,” Trump said.

Meanwhile, another batch of Clinton’s controversial emails was released Tuesday, revealing an email from adviser Sidney Blumenthal in which he alleged that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disrespected Clinton in a closed meeting. “If we can’t sleep, Hillary is not going to sleep,” Netanyahu reportedly said while asking meeting participants to be more aggressive in pressuring Iran.

In another email from 2010, Blumenthal writes to Clinton that she should “[h]old Bibi’s feet to the fire,” reminding her that “Israel has no oil” and only values, which it is sacrificing by not making peace with the Palestinians. He also urges Clinton to acknowledge the controversial left-wing Jewish lobby group J Street.

“Bibi is stage managing US Jewish organizations (and neocons, and the religious right, and whomever else he can muster) against the administration. AIPAC itself has become an organ of the Israeli right, specifically Likud. By acknowledging J Street you give them legitimacy, credibility…and create room within the American Jewish community for debate supportive of the administration’s pursuit of the peace process. Just by mentioning J Street in passing, AIPAC becomes a point on the spectrum, not the controller of the spectrum,” Blumenthal writes.

Posted on March 2, 2016 .