Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump announced on Dec. 2 that he plans on paying a visit to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon. A day later, however, he made some questionable comments to the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“I love Israel,” Trump said at a rally in Manassas, Virginia, according to The Washington Post. “Israel is our great partner.”
Though President Obama and Netanyahu are generally known to be on somewhat strained terms, Trump seemed convinced he could secure an audience with Israel’s conservative leader.
However, the following day, Trump conjured up several anti-Semitic stereotypes while speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition.
“Stupidly, you want to give me money,” Trump said.
"You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money," he added.
Trump later decided to up the ante by asking: “Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken,” referencing the stereotype that Jews are money-hungry, cheap and business savvy.
Perhaps Trump’s biggest misstep was when he said that he wasn’t sure if Jerusalem should still be the unified capital of Israel.
“I don’t know if Israel has the commitment to make it,” he said.
After Trump made the remark, “you [could] hear a pin drop,” according to a tweet from Zeke Miller, a political reporter for Time.
Trump did make some pro-Israel remarks during the speech to applause, according to Vox. However, Chemi Shalev, the editor of Haaretz, a leading English-language news source on Israel, called the speech, “the time that Trump spit on a Jewish audience and everyone pretended they were in a water park.”