As U.S. Jews Head to Polls, Trump and Clinton Make Closing Arguments on Israel

Spokespeople for Clinton, Trump make their cases why their candidate is best for the Jewish State.

Jewish voters, left, confirming their addresses with poll worker before voting, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in the Boro Park neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Mark Lennihan/AP

Just ahead of the U.S. elections on Tuesday, campaigners for the two presidential candidates – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump – made their final pitches to the American Jewish community.

Hard on BDS, outspoken on anti-Semitism

“I think particularly for the Jewish community, this election has been a wakeup call - about some of the forces that still exist in this country that we, as a community, need to see," said Laura Rosenberger on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

"That’s why I am really proud that Hillary has stood up strongly against the BDS movement, she’s been very outspoken about anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and the anti-immigrant sentiment because we know that these are all interconnected, and this is something that is a testament to her in what she believes in, that she’s been such a forceful voice in speaking out all this divisive and violent rhetoric.”

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Regarding Israel, Rosenberg noted that Clinton has spoken "at length" about the Jewish State throughout her campaign. "Hillary has a long record, from her time as First Lady of Arkansas," she said. "She knows the depth and the connection between the American and Israeli people, she knows how much we can learn from each other, and that bond is something that is really personal to her."

Rosenberg added, "She has been very clear that she believes that Israel’s security is a direct and enduring national interest of the United States. She believes that America needs to be engaged in the Middle East to help bring about peace, stability and security, and she believes that there will always be differences that the two countries will have, but that we need to make sure that those differences are managed quietly, and that our adversaries are never able to drive a wedge between us.”

Most pro-Israel platform in the history

A spokesman for the Trump campaign asked Jewish voters to look at the Republican platform on Israel in considering their candidate of choice.

"The Republican platform, which could have never been enacted without the support of Donald Trump, is the most pro-Israel platform in the history of either party, in the history of this country," asserted David Friedman. "He has followed through with additional statements and more detailed policy points over the recent past... Some of those points are frankly unique and massively better, not only than Hillary Clinton but even when compared to George W. Bush - no daylight between the countries, Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of Israel, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, maintaining an overwhelmingly superior military profile for Israel relative to its enemies, and no longer burdening Israel, when it is called to defend itself, with obsolete notions of proportionate force."

He added further policy points of Trump regarding Israel, namely "rejecting the notion that Israel is occupying today in Judea and Samaria, punishing the BDS movement, not imposing on Israel a settlement against its will, and not funding the Palestinian Authority without absolute assurances that it's no longer providing stipends to terrorists.”

Firedman rejected accusations of Trump's final pre-election ad, which the Huffington Post accused of being rife with "anti-Semitic overtones" because it shows images of Jewish business figures when it assails what Trump calls the Washington establishment's ties with "global special interests." The Jewish figures portrayed were Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve System, and billionaire George Soros.

"Lloyd Blankfein is being criticized because he runs a bank that has extraordinarily close ties to Hillary Clinton and has paid her almost $1 million to give speeches that Hillary Clinton tried to keep secret," he said. "He criticized Janet Yellen because he has been critical of how the Federal Reserve monitors the U.S. monetary policy. It has nothing to do with her being Jewish. In fact, I doubt people even know that Janet Yellen is Jewish."

Friedman said most people don't know George Soros is Jewish, either. "He doesn’t have a Jewish name. He’s done nothing to positively identify with the Jewish community at any point in his life," he noted. "Soros has done more to vilify the state of Israel and to fund anti-Israel propaganda machines than almost any individual on the face of the earth. The idea that by criticizing George Soros I am anti-Semitic, or I’m indicating anti-Semitic tendencies, when George Soros is himself one of the great enemies of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, turns the world on its head."

Parts of this article was originally published on Jewish Insider. Sign up for Jewish Insider's curated Daily Kickoff newsletter here