Texas senator and Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz derided Donald Trump for claiming “neutrality” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the matter is a clear case of right and wrong, Israel National News reported. Cruz went on to emphasize his own unwavering support for the Jewish State.
Last week, Cruz’s rival Trump told an MSNBC-hosted town hall meeting that he would like to remain “neutral” in order to maintain credibility with both sides as a potential peace negotiator, though he hinted Israel is justified in its actions against Palestinian terror and incitement. Cruz does not feel this is enough.
“America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel – if I am president – because I am not neutral between terrorists who are blowing up and murdering women and children, and the people of Israel who are trying to defend their nation,” Cruz told Fox News.
Nor is this the only time Cruz has condemned Trump’s position publicly. “This week, Donald Trump said on a TV program that he would be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians,” he told an audience at a televised town hall meeting at the College of Charleston last Wednesday. “I am not neutral between murderers and the innocent citizens murderers are targeting. I am not neutral at home or abroad between radical Islamic terrorists and the targets of their terror.”
Cruz noted the moral imperative in supporting Israel. “There is a difference between right and wrong. There is a difference between terrorists who strap [bombs with] nails around their chests and go into a mall to murder women and children and the armed forces protecting the innocents in Israel.”
Cruz is seeking to shore up his conservative voter base, as he came in second to Trump in South Carolina Saturday. A Washington Post poll identified Evangelicals as 72 percent of the voters in the South Carolina Republican primary, and they favored Trump over Cruz 33 percent to 27. Trailing just behind among Evangelicals was Florida Senator Marco Rubio, with 22 percent. Southern Evangelical support is crucial to Cruz’s chances of winning the nomination, and Israel is an important issue for these voters. The Bible indicates repeatedly that God favors those who seek the welfare of Israel and the Jewish people.
Meanwhile, Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton indicated that both men had “missed the mark” on Israel. Speaking Sunday to CNN, the former Secretary of State said that as president she would support Israel, but also the Palestinian right to self-determination.
“I will defend and do everything I can to support Israel, particularly as the neighborhood around it seems to become more dangerous and difficult,” declared Clinton, adding, “I also believe the Palestinians deserve to have a state of their own. That’s why I support a two-state solution. That’s what I have worked on. That’s what I tried to move forward when I was secretary, and holding three very intense conversations between the prime minister of Israel and the president of the Palestinian Authority.”
Clinton continued, “Those are not mutually exclusive. I happen to think that moving toward a two-state solution, trying to provide more support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people, is in the long-term best interests of Israel, as well as the region, and, of course, the people themselves.”
Despite her warm words in public, however, emails released as part of the ongoing investigation of her use of a private email address during her tenure as Secretary of State suggest a less-than-positive attitude towards Israel. In one she calls Israelis “always cocky”, while in another, dated 2011, she considers a suggestion from a senior aide to stir up Palestinian unrest as a means to bring Israel back to the negotiating table.