Cruz Courts Brooklyn Jews, Says Obama Treating Netanyahu ‘Shamefully’ (VIDEO)
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz told a group of Orthodox Jewish supporters in Brooklyn on Thursday that the Obama administration has treated Israel’s prime minister “shamefully,” Newsday reported.
During a campaign stop, where he took part in baking Passover matzah, Cruz said his administration would make it a priority to clean up the diplomatic mess caused by Obama and mend the relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “I give you my word, after these seven long years of an administration that turned a blind eye and a cold shoulder to Israel, in January 2017, that will end,” he stated.
Cruz has been campaigning hard in New York, attempting to garner the religious vote ahead of the state’s April 19 GOP primary. According to a Wednesday poll by Monmouth University, Cruz is in third place to win the primary with 17 percent of votes, behind New York real estate mogul Donald Trump’s 52% and Ohio Governor John Kasich’s 25%.
Upon leaving the matzah-baking event, Cruz told Jewish Insider that he anticipates his steady support of Israel to play a major role in how voters cast their ballots. “It the right thing to do so, regardless, but I would be grateful if it also earned the support of many people in New York and elsewhere,” he said. According to a March Gallup poll, Cruz has an only 20% favorability rating among Jewish voters.
At a campaign stop later in the day, in Brighton Beach, Cruz blasted Trump for his Mideast peace policies. Referring to Trump’s stated “neutrality” when it comes to brokering peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Cruz said, “We are not neutral between our friends and our enemies. We are not neutral between police officers and bank robbers.”
Against the backdrop of Cruz’s attempts to pick up more support among New York’s Orthodox Jewish voters, the presidential candidate came under fire from Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera and CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin Thursday night for a “New York values” comment they say are antisemitic, The Hill reported.
“Aside from the stinking anti-Semitic implications that I see in that whole ‘New York values’ money- and media-coated message that he put out there pandering to those Iowa voters, he also voted against Hurricane Sandy relief. He also voted against compensation for 9/11 victims. This is a man whose interests are absolutely antithetical to New York,” Rivera said on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
O’Reilly defended the presidential candidate, responding, “If he says ‘New York values’ to a bunch of Evangelicals, it’s not antisemitic,” adding that Cruz was referring to liberal New York Democrats.
Toobin made similar claims against Cruz to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: “He said New York values are about money and they’re about the media. That’s an antisemitic trope from a hundred years. It’s been around for a very long time…”Money and media is Jews. I mean this is just an old-fashioned, anti-Semitic stereotype, derogatory term and everybody understands it.”
Watch the full exchange between Rivera and O’Reilly below: