GOP Debate: Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio Level Donald Trump For His ‘Neutral’ Position on Israel

Moderator Wolf Blitzer, Republican presidential candidates, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., businessman Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich participate in a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Houston.
AP/David J. Phillip

Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) lambasted fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump for his “neutral” position on the Israel-Palestinian conflict during last night’s Republican presidential debate, saying his views on the Jewish State are aligned with anti-Israel Democrats in the Obama Administration.

The heated back-and-forth began after moderator Wolf Blitzer quoted Trump when the real estate developer said he would be a “neutral guy” on Israel.

“I’m quoting you now,” Blitzer said. “Let me be sort of a neutral guy. I don’t want to say whose fault it is, I don’t think it helps,” he said in repeating Trump’s words.

Trump responded in the affirmative.

He continued, expressed his neutrality on the issue, stating: “As president, however, there’s nothing that I would rather do to bring peace to Israel and its neighbors generally. And I think it serves no purpose to say that you have a good guy and a bad guy.”

Cruz strongly disagreed with Trump’s position, saying his moral equivalency on the issue mirrors the position taken by the allegedly anti-Israel Obama Administration.

“This is another area in which Donald agrees with Hillary Clinton,” Cruz said. “I disagree with them both strongly. Both Donald and Hillary Clinton want to be neutral, to use Donald’s word, between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Let me be clear: If I’m President, America will stand unapologetically with the nation of Israel,” the Texas Senator added.

“The notion of neutrality is based upon the left buying into this moral relativism that is often pitched in the media,” Cruz said. “It is not equivalent when you have terrorists strapping dynamite around their chests exploding and murdering innocent women and children they are not equivalent to the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) officers protecting Israel; and I will not pretend that they are.”

“Just today, Iran announced that they were going to pay $7,000 dollars to each [Palestinian] suicide bomber. And I would note, missing from Donald’s answer was anything he has done in his nearly 70 years of living defending Israel,” Cruz concluded.

Rubio also attacked Trump for what he thought of as a simplistic position, accusing the businessman of seeing the Israel-Palestinian conflict as something that could be settled akin to a real-estate deal.

I don’t know if Donald realizes this. I’m sure it’s not his intent perhaps. But the position you’ve taken is an anti-Israel position. And here’s why. Because you cannot be an honest broker in a dispute between two sides in which one of the sides is constantly acting in bad faith,” Rubio said. “The Palestinian Authority has walked away from multiple efforts to make peace, very generous offers from the Israeli. Instead, here’s what the Palestinians do. They teach their four- year-old children that killing Jews is a glorious thing.”

Rubio said the next President should take a side, and firmly support the state of Israel against its terrorist neighbors.

The next president of the United States needs to be someone like me who will stand firmly on the side of Israel,” the Florida Senator concluded. “I will be on Israel’s side every single day because they are the only pro-American, free enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East.”


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