Washington, March 22 (IANS) Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump favours a non-interventionist foreign policy focused on reducing the US engagement in conflicts abroad while vowing complete support for “our most reliable ally” Israel.
He favoured a non-interventionist foreign policy to facilitate rebuilding infrastructure and the economy at home, the billionaire told the Washington Post’s editorial board Monday.
Hours later, Trump — whose promise to be “neutral” in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, has caused concern among pro-Israel activists — sang a different tune before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual meeting.
In any negotiation, he pledged, “we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel”.
Trump also lambasted the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Barack Obama, who he noted was “in his final year, yay”. He pledged to relocate the US embassy in Israel to the “eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem”.
Making a departure from his usual extempore speeches, Trump delivered a carefully worded address with the aid of a teleprompter bringing the crowd to its feet at times.
“I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel,” he claimed, “That’s what politicians do — all talk, no action.”
He also reached out to the Republican leadership with a private meeting with Republican lawmakers amid efforts by the Republican establishment to somehow stop him from getting the party nomination.
Earlier in the day, Trump was attacked by Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton for suggesting in past interviews that he would remain neutral in negotiating the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We need steady hands,” Clinton told AIPAC, referring to the real estate mogul but not naming him. “Not a president who says he’s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because everything is negotiable.”
“Well, my friends, Israel’s security is nonnegotiable!” she said.
“You’ll get a glimpse of a potential US foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them, and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them,” Clinton said setting a hawkish tone.
“For the security of Israel and the world, we need America to remain a respected global leader, committed to defending and advancing the international order.”
The two other Republican presidential candidates, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, also made their support for Israel and opposition to the Iran deal a centrepiece of their remarks.
Clinton’s Democratic rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, was the only major candidate who skipped the AIPAC meeting.
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)