In a highly awaited speech at the AIPAC Policy Conference on Monday evening, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reiterated his support for Israel while promising to continue to do so if elected President.
Trump noted that he is a lifelong supporter of the State of Israel and stressed that, despite being a newcomer to politics, "I'm not new to supporting the Jewish state."
The speech was full of typical Trump bombast, apparently winning over even Democratic skeptics and generating loud standing ovations – and a fair amount of laughs.
Threats by liberal activists to walk out either failed to materialize or went unnoticed among the tens of thousands of audience members we awaited – some eagerly, others nervously – to hear what Trump would say.
He touted his pro-Israel credentials and noted how he led the Salute Israel parade in 2014.
“It was a dangerous time for Israel and frankly for many supporting Israel… I took the risk and I'm glad I did,” said Trump.
“But I didn't come to you to pander about Israel – that's what a politician does: all talk and no action," he said to laughs.
"I came to tell you where I stand on the future of America's relationship with our strategic ally and cultural brother, the State of Israel.”
Trump declared that his number one number priority is to roll back the disastrous deal with Iran.
“This deal is catastrophic, for America, for Israel and for the whole Middle East.”
"I've studied this issue in detail…. greater by far than anybody else," he continued, "and it's a bad deal."
Trump named his three priorities in tackling Iran: first, rolling back its "aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region."
Secondly, he said he would work to "totally dismantle Iran's global terror network, which is big and powerful – but not powerful like us!"
His third priority, he said, was to "at the very least… enforce the terms of the (Iran nuclear) deal… and we will enforce it like you've never seen a contract enforced before, believe me!"
One of the biggest applause Trump received was when he slammed Iran's "demented" attempts to intimidate Israel via ballistic missile tests, which he warned were also a warning to the Western world.
The recent tests, which included missiles emblazoned with Hebrew-language threats to destroy Israel, "were designed to intimidate not only Israel, and to frighten Europe and someday maybe even hit the United States – and we're not going to let that happen!"
"What kind of demented mind writes that in Hebrew…?" Trump asked. "And here's another twisted part: testing these missiles does not even violate the horrible deal we made!"
Trump, pulled no punches in attacking the United Nations for its anti-Israel bias, blasting "the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations."
"The UN is not a friend of democracy, it's not a friend of freedom, or even to the United States of America… and it surely is not a friend to Israel."
He then vowed to veto any attempt by the UN to impose a solution on Israel – receiving further raucous applause.
"That's not how you make a deal," he said. "Deals are made when parties come together…. each side has to give up something."
"Every day they're stabbing Israelis and even Americans," Trump continued, condemning Palestinian terror – including from "The Palestinian ISIS, Hamas."
"You don't reward behavior like that!"
Not everyone was pleased when he attacked President Obama as "the worst thing to happen to Israel," but unruffled, he continued to insist that "no one should be telling Israel it should abide by an agreement made by others thousands of miles away… it's so preposterous we're not gonna let that happen."
"When I become president the days of treating Israel as a second class citizen will end on day one!"
Trump also condemned Palestinian incitement.
"When you live in a society where firefighters are heroes, little kids will want to be firefighters… in Palestinian society the heroes are those who murder Jews… we can't let this happen any longer."
“In Palestinian society the heroes are those who murder Jews. We can't let this continue. We can't let this happen any longer. You cannot achieve peace if terrorists are regarded as martyrs. It's a barrier that can't be broken.”
He rejected any "moral equivalence" between Israel and Palestinian terrorists.
“Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians. What President Obama gets wrong about deal making is that he constantly applies pressure on our friends and rewards our enemies.”
Trump also launched a broadside against his main Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton, who he said is “a total disaster."
"She and President Obama have treated Israel very very badly," he said, to mixed cheers and jeers.