In the middle of a phone interview with JNS.org on June 26, billionaire real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves his desk to scan the wall of his office for awards he has received from the Jewish community.
Trump eagerly points out that he was the grand marshal of New York City’s annual Salute to #Israel Parade (now the Celebrate Israel Parade) in 2004 “at a time when it was quite dangerous to do that” and “a pretty tough time for Israel,” in the middle of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising against Israel). He also cites a video endorsement he gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the Jewish state’s January 2013 election, expressing pride that it was “at the time the only ad done by a celebrity” for Netanyahu.
Trump, however, touts his close relationship with Israel and the Jewish community as the reason he believes he can outperform Republican contenders of both the past and present among Jewish voters.
How close, in fact, is Trump’s relationship with Judaism? Unlike the name of his reality TV show, he is no apprentice when it comes to the Jewish faith. Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2009, and her observance of Shabbat with her husband Jared Kushner (a well-known real estate developer as well as the owner and publisher of the New York Observer newspaper) is well-documented.
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to Israel from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to Israel before me. The only one that’s going to give Israel the kind of support it needs is Donald Trump.”
Below is the rest of Trump’s interview with JNS.org. Click on the link to read the entire article.
Caption: Donald Trump speaks at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on May 9, 2015. Credit: Michael Vadon via Wikimedia Commons.