Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech: What to expect and how to watch


Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s speech Monday night to the 18,000 attendees of this year’s AIPAC conference is sure to be the most talked-about address of the event.

There are a few things you may want to look out for.

The last time he addressed a Jewish audience, at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Washington, D.C., last December, Trump made some off-color remarks about Jews. Trump is being a bit more cautious now, so he’ll probably steer clear of jokes — or insults, depending on your perspective — but no guarantees. Trump said his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, helped him write the speech.

In an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Trump said he’d talk to the crowd about his ability to cut a good deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I’ll tell you what, I don’t know one Jewish person that doesn’t want to have a deal, a good deal, a proper deal, but a really good deal,” he said. “They’d all love to see a deal made.”

At a town hall meeting last month, Trump somewhat famously said he’d be neutral in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Expect him to avoid the term “neutral” in front of this red-meat crowd and to talk more about his pro-Israel bona fides: His 2004 role as the grand marshal of New York’s Salute to Israel Parade, his friendship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (whom Trump stumped for in a TV ad during Israel’s 2013 elections) and his Jewish daughter, Ivanka Trump.

He’ll also probably trumpet the positions he holds that are likely to resonate with this pro-Israel crowd: his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal, his vow to defeat ISIS, maybe his concerns about Muslim immigration to America.

Perhaps the most interesting thing to watch for will be how Trump responds to the protests that may erupt during his speech. Trump is used to addressing enthusiastic rallies of supporters, not potentially hostile audiences representing a demographic that is deeply skeptical – if not fearful – of the prospect of a Trump presidency.

Of course, Trump being Trump, it would be folly to predict with confidence anything that will happen in this presidential campaign that has defied all predictions.

So maybe you’d just better tune in. Watch here after 5 p.m. Eastern time.

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