Richard Edmondson is an author, novelist, poet, and journalist whose writings often focus on Middle East issues, the Zionist lobby, and religion. His latest novel is The Memoirs of Saint John: When the Sandstone Crumbles, a story about an archaeological team doing a dig in Syria and set amidst the current conflict in the country.

In 2014 Richard attended an International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism, held in Damascus. The book is part two in the Memoirs of Saint John series.

Two other books by Richard are Rising Up: Class Warfare in America from the Streets to the Airwaves, relating his experiences founding and operating an unlicensed or "pirate" FM radio station in San Francisco in the 1990s, as well as a volume of poetry entitled American Bus Stop: Essay and Poems on Hope and Homelessness.

Richard is cognizant of the words of the early Christian writer Tertullian, who in the second century-basically prognosticating the fall of the Roman Empire-wrote: "We have made merry amid the ludicrous cruelties of the noonday exhibition."

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Trump Tells AIPAC: I’m Not Here to Pander–and Then Proceeds to Pander

If you're a Zionist, what's not to like?

I know a lot of people have had their hopes up about Donald Trump. When the Republican candidate said the war in Iraq was a disaster and that Bush had lied to get us in that war, a lot of people, myself included, took it as a hopeful sign.

We also assumed that since he was self-funding his campaign, he would not be as dependent upon the pro-Israel lobby, and might, if elected, actually chart a course of independence away from our usual servitude to Israel.

But the speech given by Trump before AIPAC earlier this evening is perhaps the most fawning speech any candidate could possibly have given. Even Joe Biden’s speech yesterday had more teeth to it, and Biden is known for being one of the most kowtowing Israel supporters in Washington. Biden at least had the nerve to criticize Israel for its settlement expansions.

Not only did Trump make no mention of the settlements, not only was he mute on the subject of the theft of Palestinian land and destruction of homes, but he accused the Palestinians of terrorism, of teaching their children to hate Jews, and he promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

He also vowed essentially to scrap the Iran deal and even claimed that Iranian missiles are inscribed with the words “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth”–an allegation that appears based on nothing more than a tweet posted earlier this month. If you’re a dedicated Zionist, what’s not to like?

“Israel does not name public squares after terrorists,” says Trump. No, it just elects them as prime minister. Maybe it’s time we started rethinking the whole subject of Donald Trump. I’m not saying do or don’t vote for him.

I’m simply saying that in AIPAC we have an organization whose goal is to further the interest of an apartheid state that routinely kills women and children, and that when a presidential candidate appears on a podium before such an assembly and expresses his own accord with those objectives, then maybe we should take his words at face value.

A few days ago I posted a call for the formation of a new political party–the End Aid to Israel Party. The good thing about having a party whose goal is specifically stated in its name is that it would eliminate a lot of the guesswork that people are now burdened with in trying to assess candidates like Trump. The political process as it currently exists in America is a dead end street. This is why a new political party is so direly needed at this point.


Transcript of Trump’s Speech at AIPAC:

TRUMP: Good evening. Thank you very much.

I speak to you today as a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel. (CHEERS, APPLAUSE)

I am a newcomer to politics, but not to backing the Jewish state.


In 2001, weeks after the attacks on New York City and on Washington and, frankly, the attacks on all of us, attacks that perpetrated and they were perpetrated by the Islamic fundamentalists, Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited Israel to show solidarity with terror victims.

I sent my plane because I backed the mission for Israel 100 percent.


In spring of 2004 at the height of the violence in the Gaza Strip, I was the grand marshal of the 40th Salute to Israel Parade, the largest-single gathering in support of the Jewish state.


It was a very dangerous time for Israel and frankly for anyone supporting Israel. Many people turned down this honor. I did not. I took the risk and I’m glad I did.


But I didn’t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That’s what politicians do: all talk, no action. Believe me.


I came here to speak to you about where I stand on the future of American relations with our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship and our cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the state of Israel.


Thank you.

My number-one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.


Thank you. Thank you.

I have been in business a long time. I know deal-making. And let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel and for the whole of the Middle East.

(APPLAUSE) The problem here is fundamental. We’ve rewarded the world’s leading state sponsor of terror with $150 billion, and we received absolutely nothing in return.


I’ve studied this issue in great detail, I would say actually greater by far than anybody else.


Believe me. Oh, believe me. And it’s a bad deal.

The biggest concern with the deal is not necessarily that Iran is going to violate it because already, you know, as you know, it has, the bigger problem is that they can keep the terms and still get the bomb by simply running out the clock. And of course, they’ll keep the billions and billions of dollars that we so stupidly and foolishly gave them.


The deal doesn’t even require Iran to dismantle its military nuclear capability. Yes, it places limits on its military nuclear program for only a certain number of years, but when those restrictions expire, Iran will have an industrial-sized, military nuclear capability ready to go and with zero provision for delay, no matter how bad Iran’s behavior is. Terrible, terrible situation that we are all placed in and especially Israel.


When I’m president, I will adopt a strategy that focuses on three things when it comes to Iran. First, we will stand up to Iran’s aggressive push to destabilize and dominate the region.


Iran is a very big problem and will continue to be. But if I’m not elected president, I know how to deal with trouble. And believe me, that’s why I’m going to be elected president, folks.


And we are leading in every poll. Remember that, please.


Iran is a problem in Iraq, a problem in Syria, a problem in Lebanon, a problem in Yemen and will be a very, very major problem for Saudi Arabia. Literally every day, Iran provides more and better weapons to support their puppet states.

Hezbollah, Lebanon received — and I’ll tell you what, it has received sophisticated anti-ship weapons, anti-aircraft weapons and GPS systems and rockets like very few people anywhere in the world and certainly very few countries have. Now they’re in Syria trying to establish another front against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

In Gaza, Iran is supporting Hamas and Islamic jihad.

And in the West Bank, they’re openly offering Palestinians $7,000 per terror attack and $30,000 for every Palestinian terrorist’s home that’s been destroyed. A deplorable, deplorable situation.


Iran is financing military forces throughout the Middle East and it’s absolutely incredible that we handed them over $150 billion to do even more toward the many horrible acts of terror.


Secondly, we will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network which is big and powerful, but not powerful like us.


Iran has seeded terror groups all over the world. During the last five years, Iran has perpetuated terror attacks in 25 different countries on five continents. They’ve got terror cells everywhere, including in the Western Hemisphere, very close to home.

Iran is the biggest sponsor of terrorism around the world. And we will work to dismantle that reach, believe me, believe me.


Third, at the very least, we must enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable. And we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me.


Iran has already, since the deal is in place, test-fired ballistic missiles three times. Those ballistic missiles, with a range of 1,250 miles, were designed to intimidate not only Israel, which is only 600 miles away, but also intended to frighten Europe and someday maybe hit even the United States. And we’re not going to let that happen. We’re not letting it happen. And we’re not letting it happen to Israel, believe me.


Thank you. Thank you.

Do you want to hear something really shocking? As many of the great people in this room know, painted on those missiles in both Hebrew and Farsi were the words “Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth.” You can forget that.


What kind of demented minds write that in Hebrew?

And here’s another. You talk about twisted. Here’s another twisted part. Testing these missiles does not even violate the horrible deal that we’ve made. The deal is silent on test missiles. But those tests do violate the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The problem is no one has done anything about it. We will, we will. I promise, we will.


Thank you.

Which brings me to my next point, the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations.


The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.


With President Obama in his final year — yea!




He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it and you know it better than anybody.

So with the president in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Let me be clear: An agreement imposed by the United Nations would be a total and complete disaster.


The United States must oppose this resolution and use the power of our veto, which I will use as president 100 percent.


When people ask why, it’s because that’s not how you make a deal. Deals are made when parties come together, they come to a table and they negotiate. Each side must give up something. It’s values. I mean, we have to do something where there’s value in exchange for something that it requires. That’s what a deal is. A deal is really something that when we impose it on Israel and Palestine, we bring together a group of people that come up with something.

That’s not going to happen with the United Nations. It will only further, very importantly, it will only further delegitimize Israel. It will be a catastrophe and a disaster for Israel. It’s not going to happen, folks.


And further, it would reward Palestinian terrorism because every day they’re stabbing Israelis and even Americans. Just last week, American Taylor Allen Force, a West Point grad, phenomenal young person who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was murdered in the street by a knife-wielding Palestinian. You don’t reward behavior like that. You cannot do it.


There’s only one way you treat that kind of behavior. You have to confront it.


So it’s not up to the United Nations to really go with a solution. It’s really the parties that must negotiate a resolution themselves. They have no choice. They have to do it themselves or it will never hold up anyway. The United States can be useful as a facilitator of negotiations, but no one should be telling Israel that it must be and really that it must abide by some agreement made by others thousands of miles away that don’t even really know what’s happening to Israel, to anything in the area. It’s so preposterous, we’re not going to let that happen.


When I’m president, believe me, I will veto any attempt by the U.N. to impose its will on the Jewish state. It will be vetoed 100 percent.


You see, I know about deal-making. That’s what I do. I wrote “The Art of the Deal.”


One of the best-selling, all-time — and I mean, seriously, I’m saying one of because I’ll be criticized when I say “the” so I’m going to be very diplomatic — one of…


I’ll be criticized. I think it is number one, but why take a chance? (LAUGHTER)


One of the all-time best-selling books about deals and deal- making. To make a great deal, you need two willing participants. We know Israel is willing to deal. Israel has been trying.


That’s right. Israel has been trying to sit down at the negotiating table without preconditions for years. You had Camp David in 2000 where Prime Minister Barak made an incredible offer, maybe even too generous; Arafat rejected it.

In 2008, Prime Minister Olmert made an equally generous offer. The Palestinian Authority rejected it also.

Then John Kerry tried to come up with a framework and Abbas didn’t even respond, not even to the secretary of state of the United States of America. They didn’t even respond.

When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one.


Thank you.

And when I say something, I mean it, I mean it.

I will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately. I have known him for many years and we’ll be able to work closely together to help bring stability and peace to Israel and to the entire region.

Meanwhile, every single day you have rampant incitement and children being taught to hate Israel and to hate the Jews. It has to stop.


When you live in a society where the firefighters are the heroes, little kids want to be firefighters. When you live in a society where athletes and movie stars are the heroes, little kids want to be athletes and movie stars.

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 treated as martyrs. Glorifying terrorists is a tremendous barrier to peace. It is a horrible, horrible way to think. It’s a barrier that can’t be broken. That will end and it’ll end soon, believe me.


In Palestinian textbooks and mosques, you’ve got a culture of hatred that has been fomenting there for years. And if we want to achieve peace, they’ve got to go out and they’ve got to start this educational process. They have to end education of hatred. They have to end it and now.


There is no moral equivalency. Israel does not name public squares after terrorists. Israel does not pay its children to stab random Palestinians.

You see, what President Obama gets wrong about deal-making is that he constantly applies pressure to our friends and rewards our enemies.


And you see that happening all the time, that pattern practiced by the president and his administration, including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is a total disaster, by the way.



She and President Obama have treated Israel very, very badly.


But it’s repeated itself over and over again and has done nothing (to) embolden those who hate America. We saw that with releasing the $150 billion to Iran in the hope that they would magically join the world community. It didn’t happen.


President Obama thinks that applying pressure to Israel will force the issue. But it’s precisely the opposite that happens. Already half of the population of Palestine has been taken over by the Palestinian ISIS and Hamas, and the other half refuses to confront the first half, so it’s a very difficult situation that’s never going to get solved unless you have great leadership right here in the United States.

We’ll get it solved. One way or the other, we will get it solved.


But when the United States stands with Israel, the chances of peace really rise and rises exponentially. That’s what will happen when Donald Trump is president of the United States.

(CHEERS, APPLAUSE) We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.


And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel.


The Palestinians must come to the table knowing that the bond between the United States and Israel is absolutely, totally unbreakable.


They must come to the table willing and able to stop the terror being committed on a daily basis against Israel. They must do that.

And they must come to the table willing to accept that Israel is a Jewish state and it will forever exist as a Jewish state.


I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel. I’ve been with Israel so long in terms of I’ve received some of my greatest honors from Israel, my father before me, incredible. My daughter, Ivanka, is about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.


In fact, it could be happening right now, which would be very nice as far as I’m concerned.


So I want to thank you very much. This has been a truly great honor. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

Thank you very much.



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18 Responses to "Trump Tells AIPAC: I’m Not Here to Pander–and Then Proceeds to Pander"

  1. Eddie  March 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I notice from the comments that some of you are still living in denial and just can’t come to terms with the fact Trump is nothing more than an Israeli agent, just like the rest of them.

  2. Poppadop  March 22, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Using the “mafia way” against mafias runs the risk of being at odds with others trying to oppose the mafias as well as becoming like the mafias oneself. Furthermore, it still requires a willingness to confront stone-cold killers. Businessmen/pop culture celebrities usually do not have that trait…

  3. Beydety  March 22, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Wjabbe, that a very good comment.

  4. David Vaughn  March 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Trump is just blowing smoke up their ass, IMO. If he can get the Zionist believing he supports them that will likely get the “establishment” to take some heat off Trump throughout the election cycle.

    Trump has made too many comments suggesting he knows what has been going on up to and after 911 for me to believe he doesn’t know what is truly going on in the world.

    This is just Trump using his negotiating skills to get what he wants, which is the presidency, so he can actually try to Make America Great, Again.

  5. awareadams  March 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Trump has exposed himself as just another political whore who sells himself to the power groups, such as AIPAC. When he isn’t for sale, he living his sick, trite narcissism. For all his $1,000 suits, he dresses like a slob.
    Ironically, IF we want “to make America great again” the first thing we can do is elect Sanders and put a man in the presidency whose “soul” has not been for sale, who has principles, and whom the people in all countries would look up to with respect.
    At the rate things are going Sanders could win this year’s November election by huge margins.

  6. KatherineA  March 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    It occurs to me that this was right on the heels of at least two letters threatening his family. Gee, wonder if there is a cause/effect here? This does seem to be a bit of a change from when he questioned Israel’s commitment to peace.

    So, does the new speech represent his true colors; was he “gotten to”; or is it a clever campaign trick, buying time until he can outmaneuver Adelson and Co.?

  7. George Bowling  March 22, 2016 at 7:05 am

    @ michalslahor… You are truly a dreamer! If Trump does get elected, Israel will only become more powerful, and Lucky Larry will possibly have the new WTC demolished and walk away with the money again! Now that’s the realistic view of American political directions!!!

  8. Dan  March 22, 2016 at 6:49 am

    If Trump were in those AIPACers back pocket the way a lot here think he is, the entire kosher spectrum from the faux conservative neocons, through Wall Street, Hollywood and the MSM, to the overtly anti-American MoveOn/Occupy crowd wouldn’t be working to destroy Trump. He meant what he said, but they’re still in full-out panic mode over Trump’s ace in the hole, which is his prior commitment to restore America, to end these wars, and to disclose the truth about 911, wherever it leads, which is straight back to Israel and the neocons. Having Hillary in the WH would amount to handing American sovereignty and our military directly to Israel, our economy to Wall Street, and what’s left of our political society to Soros and the cultural Marxists, while at least with Trump there’s real hope for a restoration.

  9. cynthiamaccioli  March 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

    I tried, I really tried to get to the end of this guys speech, but my gag reflex kicked in. Every time he opens his mouth, Hillary is looking better. But Hillary is a genocidal assassin, or is that an oxymoron?
    Either way, this country’s citizens are screwed. Either way, there is no choice. How can any American with a conscience vote in this upcoming election? It escaped me.

    • highrpm  March 22, 2016 at 7:39 am

      ditto. (i did not last even 1 minute.)

  10. El Clandestino  March 22, 2016 at 3:49 am

    I’m always wary of people who say, “believe me”, “trust me”, “honestly”, “to be honest”, etc.

    • Beydety  March 22, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      I don’t know why Americans bother to vote. Your candidates are like from one party.

  11. ignatius  March 22, 2016 at 3:23 am

    Trump loves Israel, but Israel does not love Trump.

  12. ProtectUSA1st  March 22, 2016 at 12:55 am

     Trump Outsmart Every Speaker by Repeating “What They have Said”
     Outside, Verizon Center, when REPORTERS asked him, are you
     going to ask JAPAN to pay for our assistance? Trump said YES…
     Trump was told a group were ready to kick him, (AIPAC) Stopped
     Trump knows Israel NEVER A CONSTITUTION, he Democratic
     He knows Harry Truman Crossed out “The Jewish State” at the UN
     He knows Russia, China, UK & France will VETO moving our Embassy
     He IRAN is a DONE DEAL by UN, USA, Russia, China, UK & France
     Trump did not say the West Bank, he kept saying Palestine
    “Give me Trump (4-Years), THAN SEEING Clinton, Cruz or Sanders the
    Israeli-American, in the WHITE HOUSE for (1-Day) ___Clinton, Liar / Liar Warmonger __ Google Sander under “Congress House Banking Scandal, etc” Cruz NOT QUALIFIED HE WAS BORN in CANADIAN – AMERICAN

  13. Howie  March 22, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Obviously this guy would club a baby seal to death on live tv to win an election.

  14. deb52carter  March 22, 2016 at 12:03 am

    So,on another site,i read that trump told Israel to pay back U.S..,all the money we loaned/gave them,,,i don’t see it ANYWHERE in this speech,,am I missing something?,,SOMEONE IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH..HMMMMM!

  15. DJ C  March 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Look at it this way. You’re not going to get EVERYTHING with Trump. Let’s at least hope for a person who will slow the death of America. The next person, can stand on Trumps shoulders and continue to right the ship. Are we expecting one man to single-handedly defeat the New World Order? Of course, not. Trump, assuming he’s not a Trojan Horse, is at least a step in the right direction. He has to choose his battles.

    Sure, it would be nice if he would stand up for Palestinians. But one step at a time.

    • jo phoenix  March 22, 2016 at 12:05 am

      you have lost your prospective this is the continuum of “The Greater Israel Plan” fragment by divide and conquer so Israel ca n rule not only the middle east but the entire WORLD. At least we k now the real truth what you do with what is clearly in front of you is up to you.

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