Donald Trump buries one good point in a series of stereotypes at the Republican Jewish Coalition

A series of Republican candidates spoke to the Republican Jewish Coalition yesterday. For the less-polished politicians, it did not go well.

Ben Carson recited notes someone else had written for him, made all the more evident by his repeated mispronunciation of Hamas as “hummus.” He also repeated his rather odd claim that the dollar bill features a Star of David. It doesn’t. If he was hoping to convince anyone that Duane Carridge, his cravenly imperialistic foreign policy adviser, was wrong when he said that “Nobody has been able to sit down with [Carson] and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East,” he did the opposite.

Mike Huckabee dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged when asked how he’d respond to the claim that Evangelical support for Israel has a messianic bent. Perhaps because it absolutely does.

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, however, topped them both. His 30-minute speech was, as ThinkProgress described in their headline, “Just A Series Of Offensive Stereotypes About Jews.” He told the crowd that they probably wouldn’t support him because “I don’t want your money.” He tried to identify with the audience by reminding them that he’s “a negotiator like you folks,” asking “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals?”

Trump was later booed for refusing to answer a question about where Jerusalem would fit into an eventual Trump peace deal between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people. He did, however, suggest that President Obama may be a secret Muslim, saying of his refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” that “there’s something going on with him that we don’t know about.”

However, in the midst of Trump’s litany of careless, lazy stereotypes about who Jews are and what they want, he did make one good point: Israel, as it stands right now, isn’t acting like they want to strike a peace agreement. As he said:

A lot will have to do with Israel and whether or not Israel wants to make the deal — whether or not Israel’s willing to sacrifice certain things. They may not be, and I understand that, and I’m OK with that. But then you’re just not going to have a deal.

Later, responding to a heckler who took issue with Trump’s dodge regarding Jerusalem’s status, Trump doubled down on the claim, adding:

You can’t go in with that attitude. If you’re going to make a deal, you could make a great deal, you can’t go in with the attitude we’re going to shove it down your — you gotta go in and get it and do it nicely so everyone is happy.

Now before we get ahead of ourselves, Trump clearly doesn’t have any idea what the “certain things” Israel would have to sacrifice in order to secure a deal are. He didn’t say anything about settlements. He didn’t say anything about borders. He didn’t say anything about political rights.  Still, the simple acknowledgement of the fact that the Israeli government isn’t acting like it plans on giving up anything in the near future is — as much as it pains me to say this — one of the more honest things any presidential candidate has said about the conflict in quite some time.

As the Intercept’s Zaid Jilani suggested, Trump’s complete lack of knowledge about the conflict may actually help him make a more honest appraisal of the situation. As he wrote, “to Trump, who prides himself on deal-making, it’s simply obvious that you can’t make a deal between two people if you start off by saying one of them always gets their way no matter what.”

Here’s video of Trump’s speech:

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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