Hillary Clinton did not mention Donald Trump during her keynote address at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday. But her words were sharply pointed at the Republican frontrunner.Am I thrilled by this? No. Do I believe that Trump is more moderate than Clinton on the Middle East? Well, I'll just point out that Sheldon Adelson -- whose Israeli newspaper publishes a steady stream of pro-Netanyahu propaganda -- is, according to Sarah Posner, a huge Donald Trump fan:
“I know that all of you understand what’s at stake in this election,” Clinton said. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he is neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because everything’s negotiable. Well, my friends, Israel’s security is non-negotiable.”
Last month, Trump suggested he was “neutral” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that he could negotiate with both parties....
Clinton seized on Trump’s reluctance to take a stand.
“America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to Israel’s security or survival,” she said. “We can’t be neutral when rockets rain down on residential neighborhoods, when civilians are stabbed in the street, when suicide bombers target the innocent. Some things aren’t negotiable. And anyone who doesn’t understand that has no business being our president.”
Israel Hayom, the free daily newspaper owned by Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, appears to be on a mission to make Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump palatable to the Israeli public....This might explain why Arkansas senator Tom Cotton -- a rising star in the GOP and a protégé of Adelson and Bill Kristol -- is meeting with Trump today:
Adelson, who has been mum about his preferred candidate, reportedly told a questioner at a February event about whether he would support Trump, "why not?"
... one newspaper laid out the journalistic red carpet for Trump -- and Trump, apparently, made the reporter feel as if the generosity was reciprocated. Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom's U.S. campaign correspondent, wrote reverently of Trump's ostentatious wealth, admiring the gold bathroom fixtures and "huge" chandeliers that adorn Mar-a-Lago. Bismuth recounted bumping into the candidate....
At times, it's hard to distinguish Bismuth's campaign trail dispatch from a Trip Advisor review. "I must admit I was excited to be among the 300 media members (most of them Americans) invited to the press conference," Bismuth wrote, calling a Trump event "the best show in town." Seeing Trump "on his home turf in a luxurious setting," he continued, "is an incomparable experience."
The real point of the story, though, was to put some proverbial gold plating on Trump's tarnished image with Jews.... Bismuth was Trump's dutiful stenographer, transmitting his declaration to the Israeli public: "Your friend is leading in the primaries. I've always been your friend, even at the toughest moments. And that's not going to change. I love you."
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton is expected to join a meeting that Donald Trump is holding on Monday in Washington.Kristol is still an anti-Trump hard-liner -- but Cotton is breaking with him on that. Yes, the Republican National Committee has told Kristol that the party is tired of his Trump-bashing, and Cotton surely wants to stay in the party's good graces -- but you'd think the party would want to stay in the good graces of pro-Israel hawks, and it appears that the party isn't worried about Trump causing trouble on that score.
A source close to Cotton, a first term Republican known for his hawkish foreign policy views, said that Cotton's attendance did not signal an outright endorsement, but rather that he was interested in hearing what the Republican frontrunner has to say.
It's frightening to imagine Trump assuming the work of the presidency, but do you seriously doubt that his Middle East policy would be a rabble-rousing bellicosity on Israel's behalf? Bellicosity aimed at the cheap seats is his default mode on everything. Of course he'd be a pro-Israel hard-liner. Adelson gets this. Cotton will be on board sooner or later -- and Kristol, too, in all likelihood, by fall