Pro­fess­ing love for Is­rael, US pres­i­dent con­demns those ‘pro­mot­ing an­ti­semitism’

Trump says he’s ‘very hope­ful’ about sig­nif­i­cant progress this year in peace process

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By MICHALE WILNER Jerusalem Post Cor­re­spon­dent

NEW YORK – In a call on Fri­day with Jewish com­mu­nity lead­ers ahead of the High Holy Days, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump pro­fessed an affin­ity for Is­rael and vowed to fight the scourge of an­ti­semitism fes­ter­ing across the United States.

With his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kush­ner, on the line, Trump said the tra­di­tion of Ju­daism “strength­ens our na­tion and in­spires us all.”

“As we mark the be­gin­ning of the year 5,778 in the Jewish calendar, I want to ex­press my deep ad­mi­ra­tion for the Jewish peo­ple. Through­out the cen­turies, the Jewish peo­ple have en­dured un­think­able per­se­cu­tion,” Trump said.

He noted that sur­vivors of the Holo­caust were in­vited on the call, and un­der­scored the im­por­tance of shar­ing their his­tory. But sev­eral Jewish com­mu­nity lead­ers protested the an­nual phonein over Trump’s re­sponse to a neo-Nazi rally last month in Char­lottesville, Virginia, in which he was seen to be equat­ing their vi­o­lent be­hav­ior with that of the mi­nor­ity groups in their crosshairs.

“We force­fully con­demn those who seek to pro­mote an­ti­semitism,” Trump said, ac­cord­ing to a tran­script of the call re­leased by the White House. “I will make sure we pro­tect Jewish com­mu­ni­ties, and all com­mu­ni­ties, to make sure they are safe.”

The pres­i­dent also said Amer­ica would con­tinue to sup­port Is­rael un­der his lead­er­ship be­cause of “val­ues” shared by the two peo­ples.

“I am proud to stand with the Jewish peo­ple and with our cher­ished friend and ally, the State of Is­rael. The Jewish state is a sym­bol of re­silience in the face of op­pres­sion – it has per­se­vered in the face of hos­til­ity, cham­pi­oned democ­racy in the face of vi­o­lence, and suc­ceeded in the face of very, very tall odds,” he told the group. “And I can tell you on a per­sonal ba­sis, and I just left Is­rael re­cently, I love Is­rael.”

In­tro­duc­ing the call, Kush­ner said his fa­ther-in-law takes “great pride” in hav­ing a Jewish daugh­ter and grand­chil­dren. Trump in turn thanked Kush­ner for his ser­vice to the US in his ad­min­is­tra­tion, as he pro­ceeds with del­i­cate peace talks be­tween Is­rael and the Pales­tini­ans.

“This next New Year also of­fers a new op­por­tu­nity to seek peace be­tween the Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans, and I am very hope­ful that we will see sig­nif­i­cant progress be­fore the end of the year,” Trump said. “[US] Am­bas­sador [to Is­rael] David Fried­man, Jared, Jason [Green­blatt, spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for in­ter­na­tional ne­go­ti­a­tions] and the rest of my team are work­ing very hard to achieve a peace agree­ment. I think it’s some­thing that ac­tu­ally could hap­pen.”

(White House)

PRES­I­DENT DON­ALD TRUMP makes a call on Fri­day to US Jewish lead­ers ahead of Rosh Hashana.

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