WASHINGTON >> Republican Donald Trump has scrapped a planned trip to Israel, saying he will reschedule “at a later date after I become President of the U.S.”
Trump tweeted Thursday that he is postponing the trip, which had become problematic for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Viewed as a Republican Party supporter and with much in common with Trump, Netanyahu’s position became risky after Trump called for keeping Muslims from entering the U.S. and making controversial comments to a Jewish group.
Trump has the GOP in turmoil over his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. following last week’s mass shooting by an Islamic militant couple that killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California.
The GOP presidential candidate, who has maintained a wide lead in most early polling, sparked criticism among many American Jews last week after speaking to a gathering of Jewish donors. He was booed after refusing to endorse Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. The United States, like most of the international community, refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and says the city’s status must be resolved in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Trump also made remarks that some said promoted Jewish stereotypes. “I know why you’re not going to support me: you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” Trump said. “You want to control your own politician.” He also said, “I’m a negotiator, like you folks.”