— by Richard Chaitt and Scott Schley
Former Florida Governor Jeb Gilmore was among the thirteen Republican candidates speaking at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum.
Jeb Bush started with a moment of silence for those who died in the shootings in San Bernardino and then wished the audience a Happy Hanukkah.
Jeb criticized Obama and Clinton for not using the term “radical Islamic terrorism” even though the terrorists have declared war on us. Jeb thinks our enemies believe the United States no longer has the tenacity to fight. He recommends we create no-fly and safe zones in Syria for refugees. He urged us to arm the Kurds, for the only way the Arab world will join us is if they know we are serious. Bush said we can no longer have 75% of missions flown in Syria end with the pilots not firing a shot because they need to get approval from the Pentagon.
He think the Iran deal was bad. When the US disengages from the world stage, Bush said there is a vacuum, and our allies no longer believe we will honor our treaty obligations.
As to Israel, he said we will move embassy to Jerusalem. Bush said he would not put pressure on Israel to negotiate until the Palestinians acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. He would work with the Attorney General to dismantle the BDS movement calling it nothing more than disguised antisemitism.
Bush who has been to Israel five times called Israel an important ally and mentioned his father’s roll in transporting Ethiopian Jews to Israel. He promised to reinstate the commitments his father made in the 2004 Bush-Sharon letter.
Bush declared that the United State can lead the Free World and that he has leadership skills and background to lead the United States. If he was to intervene anywhere, he said that decision would have to be based on our national security interests and there would have to be clear strategy as to how to go in and get out. It would be best if any such action was in partnership with our allies, but he stressed that we should be willing to do it alone if need be.
Jeb knows his own limitations saying that if you do not have the humility to admit what you don’t know, you would be a bad President. He was a very impressive and forceful speaker, quick on his feet, speaking without notes.
He was only speaker at the RJC Presidential Presidential Forum who got an almost unanimous standing ovation.