Donald Trump is slated to speak at the AIPAC Policy Conference next week.
AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Its mission: to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Israel. It works across all political, ethnic and religious lines.
AIPAC is a large ideological tent. I know people — from the right, center and left, of both Israeli politics and American politics — support AIPAC. AIPAC has extended invitations to all Presidential candidates to address the close to 20,000 delegates who will be at the conference.
Many believe that AIPAC erred in inviting Trump. They say that this invitation is an explicit endorsement of his candidacy, and/or of his views.
In the contest for “who has the most contempt for Trump’s message?” I yield to no one.
But, living in the real world requires you to be in close spaces with people whose views you find abhorrent. You will have to listen to people with whom you disagree — even to those people whose views (and whose supporters) nauseate you. Without that, there would be no political debates.
Moreover; if AIPAC invites any candidates to speak, then it must invite them all. Hospitality to Trump does not imply hospitality to his views — any more than it implies the acceptance of the views of any candidates.
That said, I dreamed that Donald called me up and said: “Jeff, I need for you to write my AIPAC speech.”
Let me stop right there.
Many of you — perhaps, even most of you — are not my friends. You lack any affectionate feelings towards me, and towards the things that I have said, and certainly towards the way that I have said them.
I understand that. I like to speak my mind. I might want you to respect my desire to speak my mind. I also understand that many of you simply do not agree with what is in my mind, and what I have allowed to come out of my mouth. I do not expect to win any converts here today.
On the subject of converts: You all know, by now, that my daughter Ivanka has converted to Judaism, and that she and her family live an Orthodox Jewish life style.
I am not pandering to you when I say this. Ivanka has fallen in love with what you call Shabbat.
I have spent much of my life around Jews. But, none of them ever taught me about the power of the Jewish Sabbath — until my own daughter began to take it seriously.
When I go to my daughter’s home for Shabbat, I see the magic and joy there. I am impressed. Shabbat is HUUUUGE [cue laughter and applause].
Ivan tells me that on Yom Kippur, you have to confess your sins alphabetically. I have been antagonistic, boorish, cruel, divisive, egotistical, fanatical, grandiose, hostile, and insensitive.
I have also been a jerk.
Enough with the alphabet soup thing.
I have made offensive statements about women, immigrants, handicapped people, Muslims, Mexicans, the first amendment, and my opponents.
Ivanka showed me a book about the Jewish ethics of speech. I flipped through it. Good stuff. I should think more about that.
But, let me be absolutely clear about two things.
One: many extremists, white supremacists, KKK members, neo-Nazis, and plain old fashioned Jew haters support my candidacy.
I despise everything they stand for.
I do not want their support.
If they attend my rallies, I will ask them to leave.
Let them vote for someone else.
Two: I recently mentioned that I would be neutral about Israel.
The truth is: I am not neutral about Israel.
I love Israel.
I believe in Israel.
I support Israel.
This is what I meant by “neutral”: I believe that when we sit down with the Palestinians, we have to be open, fair, and even creative. We must emerge with an outcome that respects the security and dignity of both the Jews and the Palestinians.
This is not terribly different from what many of you believe as well.
I’m not a nice person. I know that.
But I love Shabbat.
I hate haters, even and especially when I come off as one.
I love Israel.
Oh, what’s the use?
Even as I typed those words, I knew that they were all a result of my wishful thinking, even my messianic thinking.
I know that they would never come out of Donald Trump’s mouth.
And yet, a man can dream.
I am not angry that AIPAC invited Donald Trump to its policy conference. They had to do it.
I am, instead, angry that Donald Trump is who he is, and that he says what he says, and that he embodies what he embodies.
The Republican party, and this country, deserve far, far better.
Is Carole King right? Is it “too late, baby…”?
There is still time to make sure that the White House does not become the next Trump Tower.