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On Monday, all of the remaining presidential candidates from the two major parties made speeches addressing Middle East policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The most widely-anticipated and heavily reported of the speeches was Donald Trump’s at the AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, DC.
While Trump’s speech was filled primarily with right-wing boilerplate about his support for Israel and opposition to the Iran deal, the applause and standing ovations he received from the AIPAC crowd made national news. Given Trump’s racist and hate-filled campaign and his refusal to disavow white nationalist supporters, he has been widely and harshly condemned by many in the American Jewish community — including J Street.
Many therefore predicted a cold reception for him at AIPAC. Trump’s hateful rhetoric was denounced before the speech by prominent groups like the ADL and the Union for Reform Judaism. Yet while some conference attendees walked out in protest before Trump’s speech, thousands of others stayed and cheered him on. The cheering for Trump was so controversial that AIPAC’s president felt compelled to apologize the next day for Trump’s disrespectful comments towards President Obama.
Below are some of this week’s best pieces analyzing and responding to Trump’s speech, and discussing the implications of what took place at AIPAC:
Logan Bayroff is a Senior Communications Associate at J Street. He’s on Twitter at @Bayroff