(December 7, 2019 / JNS) U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday night called out anti-Semitism and the anti-Israel BDS movement, vowed to keep pressure on Iran and touted his pro-Israel record in front of an overwhelmingly friendly crowd of 4,000 Israelis living in America.
At the Israeli-American Council’s annual conference in Southeast Florida, Trump listed his pro-Israel accomplishments: recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv, defunding U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority for rewarding terrorists and their families, withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and imposing tough sanctions on the regime, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declaring that Israeli settlements aren’t illegal.
He also stated that “the ISIS caliphate has been 100 percent obliterated,” and that the U.S. military successfully targeted ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in October.
In terms of the U.S.-Israel relationship, Trump lamented that it “suffered greatly” under the Obama administration.
“I don’t think they liked Israel too much,” he said, adding that under his administration, the alliance between Washington and Jerusalem “is stronger than ever before.”
Additionally, Trump called out “the vile poison” of anti-Semitism, including the BDS movement that has been echoed on college campuses and even by members of Congress, in which he said U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been “pushed around” by them.
The president called out the House resolution in March that condemned anti-Semitism and other forms of hatred in the aftermath of Omar accusing her “Jewish colleagues” for attacking her and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for labeling every criticism of theirs as anti-Israel because of the faith of the two congresswomen, in addition to slamming her critics regarding “the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”
“This could not have happened 10 years ago,” said Trump. “Radical lawmakers who support the BDS movement are advancing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic” legislation.
Earlier this year, Omar introduced a pro-BDS resolution. Although it does not explicitly mention Israel, she told Al-Monitor shortly before filing it, “We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting. And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
In his speech, Trump also reiterated his support for the latest Iranian protests, which the administration has said has killed an estimated 1,000 people.
Regarding the Iranian threat, “We must never allow a regime that chants ‘Death to America’ or ‘Death to Israel’ to obtain a nuclear weapon,” he said.
Trump also called for Israelis who are in Hamas captivity and whose remains are held by the terrorist group to be returned to the Jewish state.
The president did not mention Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, or the shootings at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 and at Chabad of Poway in Southern California in April.
Trump and Netanyahu have spoken on the phone over the past few weeks, including regarding the possibility of the United States recognizing Israel’s control over the Jordan Valley. In his speech, Trump made no reference to the possibility.
Moreover, in his speech, Trump criticized the ongoing impeachment inquiry by congressional Democrats in the aftermath of a phone call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which the former pressed the latter to investigate former U.S. vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on the board of the Ukrainian oil and gas firm Burisma.
The president also took a shot at another Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who he again called “Pocahontas” and criticized her plan to heavily tax the wealthy.
Trump was introduced by Israeli-born Dr. Miriam Adelson, alongside her husband, Sheldon Adelson. They are the mega-philanthropists behind Israeli-American Council, who Trump called the “fastest-growing Jewish organization in America.”
Closing the speech, was a rendition of “God Bless America,” by the Israeli Shalva Band.
Read more: Jewish News Syndicate