Trump tells Jews: I don't want your money


Donald Trump went down like a lead balloon in his address to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington DC on Thursday.

In a bumbling attempt to tease the crowd of 700 activists and donors, the Republican presidential candidate said: "You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money."

He went on: “You’re not going to support me even though I’m the best thing that will ever happen to Israel,” and explained that Jewish voters “want to control” their politicians through the donations they give them.

Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary to George W Bush, who attended the event, said Mr Trump's comments were "offensive".

Later, Mr Trump was booed when he refused to answer a question on whether Jerusalem should remain Israel's "undivided" capital.

Commentators also rounded on Republican candidate Ben Carson for his decision to read from a prepared text and his repeated mispronunciations of “Hamas”, which reinforced the perceptions that he does not fully grasp the complexities of the Middle East.

There was a better reception for another major contender in the GOP race, Marco Rubio, who attacked the EU’s guidelines on labelling settlement goods as “antisemitism”.

Showing why he is the favoured candidate of right-wing US Jews – and potentially that of billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson – Mr Rubio also hit out at the White House for having “no more interest” in the peace process.

“In the face of so much adversity, there is no nation that wants peace more than Israel,” he said.

He also landed a blow on Mr Trump, saying that “some” in the GOP “actually question Israel’s commitment to peace. This is not a real estate deal where the two sides are arguing over money.”

He went on: “In the entire region, there is only one pro-American, free enterprise democratic nation: the Jewish state of Israel. America has strong ties to Israel on a personal, cultural, political, and economic level. It is everything we want the Middle East to look like in the future: free, tolerant, democratic, peace-loving, and desirous of a better future.

“Today, Israel stands on the front lines of our civilisational struggle against radical, apocalyptic Islam. That term, Apocalyptic Islam, is not an attempt at being provocative; it is rather a description of the true beliefs of the leaders of both Iran and the Islamic State: that they are living in the end times and that mass genocide is their way to honour God.”

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