Trump and Rubio spar over Israel at latest Republican debate; 'The policy Donald has outlined is an anti-Israeli policy,' the Florida senator charged; 'I've made massive contributions to Israel,' the New York billionaire countered.
The Israeli–Palestinian debate took center stage at the Republican presidential debate in Miami on Thursday night, with Donald Trump defending his stance on Israel - reported by Ynetnews.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio attacked the New York billionaire, saying that "The policy Donald has outlined—I don't know if he realizes—is an anti-Israeli policy."
Rubio also criticized Trump's previous statements that he would maintain neutrality between the sides in the conflict if elected, calling the tactic "anti-Israeli" and asserting, "There is no peace deal possible with the Palestinians at this moment."
Trump countered, "I've made massive contributions to Israel. I have a lot of - I have tremendous love for Israel. I happen to have a son-in-law and a daughter and two grandchildren that are Jewish."
He went on to say, "I'm pro-Israel, but I would like to at least have the other side think I'm somewhat neutral as to them, so that we can maybe get a deal done."
"I have friends, Israelis, non-Israelis, people from New York City that happen to be Jewish and love Israel," said Trump. "Every single one of them wants to see if we could ever have peace in Israel. And some believe it's possible. It may not be, but it would be a priority if I become president."
Trump added that an agreement between the two sides was likely to be "the toughest negotiation of all time."
Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz attacked Trump for his statement before the debate that Muslims bear "tremendous hatred" towards America, asserting that negotiations must be held with moderate Muslims. They both objected to Trump's suggestions to deport the families of terrorists and to deny Muslims entrance to the US.
"I don't want to be so politically correct," replied Trump, "We have a serious, serious problem of hate. We have a law that doesn't allow waterboarding. They have no laws. They drown 40, 50, 60 people at a time. We better expand our laws or we're being a bunch of suckers, and they are laughing at us."
Rubio replied, "I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm interested in being correct. And if we capture any of these terrorists alive, they're not going to have the right to remain silent. And they're not going to go to a courtroom in Manhattan. They're going to go to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and we will find out everything they know and we'll do so legally."
The race for the Republican nomination for US president has so far been a spectacle, but it calmed down for the CNN-hosted debate, which was considerably more civil than the four candidates' previous encounters.
Trump remarked 30 minutes into the debate, "I cannot believe how civil it's been up here." After its conclusion, the candidate commented, "I found this to be a very elegant evening."