The National Jewish Democratic Council released a public statement on Monday ahead of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s address at the annual AIPAC conference in Washington D.C.
In the statement the liberal Jewish group questioned Trump’s business acumen and sincerity in claiming to support Israel, noting his failure to complete a single construction project in the Jewish state. The NJDC pointed out Trump’s numerous dealings abroad, including across the Arab world.
“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claims that his organization is currently negotiating more than 100 deals, of which 85 percent are outside the U.S,” the statement read.
“Despite his anti-foreigner and anti-Muslim rhetoric throughout his campaign, Trump has invested large amounts in the Arab world, such as in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Saudi, Kuwait and the UAE. But not once has he completed a deal with Israel. Why is this? If Trump claims to be so great at making deals, why hasn’t he been successful in doing business with Israel? He claims to boast such great ties to Israel, yet does not have a trademark investment there.”
Trump has been involved in the past in business deals in Israel. In 2006 the real estate mogul teamed up with the Crescent Heights corporation to build one of his trademark Trump Towers in Ramat Gan, just outside of Tel Aviv.
In 2007, however, Crescent Heights backed out of the deal, selling off the property purchased for the project, leading Trump to sue the company. Trump also planned a massive hotel complex in Netanya and a golf course in Ashkelon, both of which failed to pan out.
Despite the failure of Trump’s building plans in Israel to materialize, the billionaire has a history of supporting Israel, including more than $100,000 in donations to the Hatzalah emergency response organization, and $56,000 in donations to the pro-Israel Anti-Discrimination League.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2009 ahead of her marriage to Jared Kushner, a prominent Jewish real estate developer.
In 2004 the businessman served as the grand marshal in the Israel Day Parade, and in 2013 released a video endorsing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, calling him a “Terrific guy, terrific leader, great for Israel.”