World Jewish News
President Trump starts his speech by decrying spate of anti-Semitic incidents across the country
‘’Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms,’’ said US President Donald Trump as he opened his much anticipated address to a special joint session of the American Congress by condemning the recent spate of anti-Semitic incidents across the country.
"Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation's path toward civil rights and the work that still remains," he added.
‘’Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice –- in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present. That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am here tonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart,’’ the president said.
Over 75 bomb threats to Jewish institutions have been reported since the beginning of this year as well as Nazi-themed vandalism in Jewish neighborhoods and the desecration of two Jewish cemeteries in Missouri and Pennsylvania.
The president last week condemned anti-Semitism at the National Museum of African American History and Culture but on Tuesday he reportedly told state attorneys general that he questioned whether bomb threats to JCCs were orchestrated by those looking to make people "look bad."
In the speech, Trump said his administration would continue to put Iran "on notice" and underscore American support for Israel.
The White House hasalready imposed "new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran's ballistic missile program'' and ''we reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel," Trump said.
The new president spent significant time on the national security threat posed by Islamic State.
"As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS – a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs," Trump said. "We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet."
He also defended his plan to ban nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US, claiming that "data" shows terrorism-related offenses have been disproportionately perpetrated by foreign nationals.
"According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country," the president said. "We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world. It is not compassion, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur."