Jewish Republican security leaders: Trump would ‘make America less safe’
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Election 2016

Jewish Republican security leaders: Trump would ‘make America less safe’

Donald Trump speaking to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, March 1, 2016. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Donald Trump speaking to the media at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, March 1, 2016. (John Moore/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A number of prominent Jewish Republicans are among dozens of conservatives in the U.S. national security community who have come out against Donald Trump, the front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

The letter posted Wednesday by some 60 influential conservatives in think tanks and alumni of Republican administrations lists the ways they say the billionaire real estate magnate would “make America less safe,” including “hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric” that “undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism.” It also accuses Trump of contempt for neighbors such as Mexico and allies like Japan while admiring dictators such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Trump is feckless, the letter says.

“He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence,” it said.

“As committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head,” said the letter posted on War on the Rocks, a realist foreign policy and national security news and opinion website. “We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.

A good portion of the signatories are Jewish members of the conservative national community, including Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary under President George W. Bush; Max Boot, a senior foreign policy adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., when he was the 2008 GOP presidential candidate; Eric Edelman, an undersecretary of defense under George W. Bush; and Dov Zakheim, a deputy undersecretary of defense under President Ronald Reagan. Eliot Cohen, a counselor in the State Department under George W. Bush, initiated the letter.

The signatories, notably, include both realists such as Zakheim and neoconservatives like Boot, representing two strands of Republican foreign policy thinking that are often at odds.

Jewish Republicans have been unsettled by the rise of Trump, who has said he will remain neutral when he approaches peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians. A number, however, have joined other Republicans in arguing that because he is winning in presidential primaries, it’s time to support him.

Mitt Romney, the GOP’s 2012 candidate, is set to deliver a speech on Thursday blasting Trump as unfit for office.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to War on the Rocks as “conservative”; it is in fact a bipartisan and realist in outlook.