LOS ANGELES, Dec. 21, 2015 — With terrorism currently the top issue facing the voters, the neoconservative wing of the GOP has aggressively reasserted itself. When the Republican Jewish Coalition recently hosted its 2015 Presidential Candidates Forum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio clearly offered the neoconservative approach to foreign policy.
This view is very popular among many RJC members, making Rubio’s speech very well received. Rubio was presented by RJC member Wayne Berman.
While some candidates used their time to talk about a range of issues, Rubio spent his entire speech discussing foreign policy. He immediately went after President Obama. “The president has placed his own legacy over our security.”
Rubio created the term “radical apocalyptic Islam.” He noted that threats on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are threats on Paris, Washington, D.C. and Miami. He attacked the liberal approach of foreign policy “engagement” and called it “abandonment.”
He blasted Europe for the anti-Semitic policy of labeling Israeli products. He excoriated those who single out Jews for discrimination. “Today anti-Semitism hides behind the label of anti-Israel.”
He called the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement a tool of the radical left. Hiding behind social justice, “This movement reeks of hypocrisy.” They do not criticize Cuba or other despotic nations, only Israel.
He repeatedly hit Iran hard. “Calling for the destruction of Israel is the same as calling for the death of Jews.”
In a Rubio administration, “We will never again confuse our allies for adversaries” and vice versa. I will immediately shred this president’s disastrous deal with Iran.”
“I will reimpose the sanctions” that President Obama ended over the objections of Congress.
“The days of giving the ayatollah of Iran more respect than the prime minister of Israel will be over on my first day in office.”
On Palestinian terrorism, “I will never confuse the victim for the victimizer.”
“Israel currently has no viable partner for peace.” He called the other side a “so-called partner.”
“There is no moral equivalence between Israel and its enemies.”
Rubio cited the 2004 George W. Bush letter with Ariel Sharon as a stepping stone.
While Florida house speaker, he led the movement to divest from Iran.
Rubio accurately pointed out that you cannot be pro-Israel while attempting to reduce funding that the Jewish state uses to defend itself.
While Rubio left time for questions, his speech was so substantive that he answered about 85 percent of the questions people already had.
Rubio is the one candidate with a foreign policy vision that most closely resembles the George W. Bush approach. While this is considered an insult in some circles, it is the highest of compliments for many RJC members. By refusing to back away from the Bush approach, Rubio was very well received by the RJC.