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President Trump Renews Pledge to Fight Anti-Semitism: "My Connection to Judaism is Personal"

News Staff : Sep 7, 2018

"I am the very proud father of a Jewish daughter, Ivanka, and my son-in-law, who I'm very proud of also—I will say that very loudly—Jared, and my several Jewish grandchildren, namely three beautiful Jewish grandchildren that I love." -President Donald Trump

(Washington, DC)—[] The following are excerpts from President Trump's National Press Call with Jewish faith leaders and rabbis on Thursday, September 6: (Photo: President Trump in Israel, 2017/Credit: Reuters/ Jonathan Ernst/via

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good afternoon. And thank you for joining this call. It's a great honor.

To many rabbis, the Jewish leaders, and friends who are on the line, I am delighted to wish you Shana Tova, a sweet new year. And you'll have many others. We really enjoy being with you. It's something I enjoy each year. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

I send my warmest wishes to the Jewish people in the United States and around the world as we approach the High Holy Days.

The Jewish practice of reflection, atonement, and remembrance during this holy period not only strengthens Jewish communities, but inspires all Americans.

This afternoon, I want to express my deep admiration and gratitude for the extraordinary contributions of the Jewish people to the United States and to the world.

Over the centuries, the Jewish people have suffered unthinkable persecution, yet you have not only endured, you have thrived and flourished as an example of humankind.

My connection to Judaism is also personal. I am the very proud father of a Jewish daughter, Ivanka, and my son-in-law, who I'm very proud of also—I will say that very loudly—Jared, and my several Jewish grandchildren, namely three beautiful Jewish grandchildren that I love.

As we hear the sound of Shofar's call this year, we have much to celebrate as a nation. Opportunities for all Americans are soaring. Record numbers of Americans are working; the highest number of people working in the United States is literally, today. We have never had more people working, and we have never had better unemployment numbers. We're setting records for unemployment—the lowest unemployment we've ever had in almost every category. And it's a great honor to see that, and the people of our country greatly appreciate it.

Last year, I kept my promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as we have since moved our embassy from Tel Aviv to its rightful home in the Holy City. In a moment, Ambassador Friedman will provide an update on our progress, but it's something that I'm very, very proud of. Other Presidents have promised it. Actually, I should say, to be more accurate, many other Presidents have promised it and all have failed to secure their promise.

In June, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Haley announced that the United States would withdraw from the anti-Israel United Nations Human Rights Council. We have already acknowledged that and will continue to defend Israel's sovereign rights in all international forums.

Ambassador Friedman, Jason, Jared, and others are working hard to reach a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. All my life I've heard that's the hardest deal to make, and I'm starting to believe that maybe it is. But I will say that if it can be delivered, we will deliver it. Jason will actually be talking about that shortly. And we have made progress, believe it or not.

Finally, a few weeks ago, my administration was proud to remove the last known Nazi criminal from the United States. I understand that Assemblyman Hikind, who has been very kind to me, and very nice—I know he's a very strong Democrat but he was extremely nice when he did an interview in particular, as to what we did. But we worked tirelessly and we helped to make it possible. I know he and many others have been working on it for decades.

We're also deeply honored to be joined by several Holocaust survivors. It is a true privilege to be graced by your presence. And it marks the 5,779th in the Jewish calendar, so we renew our pledge to confront anti-Semitism and hatred in all of its forms.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your contributions to our communities and to our nation. Melania and I wish everyone a sweet and peaceful New Year. And it's really been a great honor.

I will now take a moment to ask Ambassador Friedman to say a few words. He's done a fantastic job as your ambassador. And, David, please say a few words.

AMBASSADOR FRIEDMAN: Thank you, Mr. President ... and thank you for your kind words to the Jewish community.

I would tell you that the embassy in Jerusalem has become a major tourist site in Israel. People—I'm there almost every day, and people just pull up their cars to the front of the embassy, they get out, they take pictures. I've seen some people praying there. I've actually seen many people crying there.

Many Cabinet members have come to visit. Many members of Congress have come to visit. I urge all of you to please come to visit. I'd love to see you all there. It's a very special place. It's a beautiful embassy that we're proud of it.

We're there, of course, because of the extraordinarily courageous decision of the President to move our embassy there. As he has said, it's something that has been a mandate from Congress for more than 25 years. It's been the will of the American people for longer than that. It's been tried and failed by so many predecessors.

And so I want to thank the President publicly, as I've done before, for this incredibly important and courageous decision. And to all those on the call, I'd like to say to you: [Speaks in Hebrew]. Happy [speaks in Hebrew]. May all of you be inscribed in the Book of Life and have a successful, peaceful, and joyous New Year. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, David. And I believe Alan Dershowitz—a terrific gentleman and a great lawyer—is going to be asking me a couple of questions. And, Alan, do you want to start? Go ahead.

MR. DERSHOWITZ: Sure. Thank you, Mr. President. It's an honor to be asking you a question. I want to thank you for doing what previous Presidents promised to do, and that is recognizing the reality that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and moving the embassy there. I was honored to be at the opening.

I also want to congratulate you for correctly predicting that this move, which takes contentious issues off the table, would not be strongly opposed by Sunni Arab nations. But the Palestinian Authority has used it as yet another excuse to refuse to negotiate with Israel... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here.

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