Partway through a Trump Tower interview with two dozen reporters and ultra-Orthodox activists Thursday afternoon, the leading Republican candidate for president deferred to a real estate attorney for help answering a question about Israel.
“Jason, how would you respond to that?” Trump asked, gesturing to the chief legal officer of the Trump Organization, Jason Greenblatt.
A Forward reporter had asked Trump what phrase he would use to describe the land east of Israel’s Green Line, which demarcates the country’s pre-1967 borders and is variously referred to as the West Bank, occupied territories, Judea and Samaria and Palestine.
It was a question meant to elicit a specific response on a politically freighted issue. Essentially, Trump didn’t answer.
The GOP candidate responded that there are “many words that I’ve seen to describe it,” before deferring to Greenblatt.
Greenblatt said that he wouldn’t call the land the “occupied territories,” and that too much time was spent “getting hung up on terminology.”
Asked whether that represented his official position, Trump said that Greenblatt, who he called “one of the great real estate lawyers of the city of New York,” would “understand it better than me.” Trump said that Greenblatt travels to Israel once a year, and that he and a bankruptcy attorney named David M. Friedman are his close advisers on Israel-related Issues.
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