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Trump lays it on at Israel-US confab

President Donald Trump at the IAC annual conference in Florida, Dec. 7, 2019. (Noam Galai)

HOLLYWOOD, Fla.— President Donald Trump slammed American Jews who he said did not sufficiently “love Israel.”

“So many of you voted for the people in the last administration. Some day you will have to explain that to me because I don’t think they like Israel too much,” the president said Dec.7 at the Israeli-American Council’s annual conference.

More than 4,000 people gathered at the Diplomat Beach Resort here for the four-day conference, which concluded on Sunday, Dec. 8, and featured sessions on topics such as the Israeli-American relationship, anti-Semitism and Israeli technology.

After being introduced by Israeli-American philanthropist and Republican mega-donor Miriam Adelson, Trump spoke for nearly an hour.

In his address, the president surveyed his record of Israel-related policies, including moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, ending US policy labeling settlements as illegal and pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

His descriptions of his policies were met with enthusiasm from the audience, including loud applause and vigorous chants of “four more years.”

He twice called out Jews who he said did not adequately support Israel.

“You have people that are Jewish people that are great people, they don’t love Israel enough, you know that, but David Friedman is not one of them,” he said, referring to his former lawyer who now serves as the U.S Ambassador to Israel.

When he spoke about finding a location for the US Embassy in Israel he told the audience that “a lot of you are in the real estate business.”

“I know you very well, you’re brutal killers. But you have to vote for me. You have no choice, you’re not gonna vote for Pocahontas,” he said, using his pejorative nickname for Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who for a long time claimed to have Native American ancestry.

Trump also denounced anti-Semitism.

“My administration is committed to aggressively challenging and confronting anti-Semitic bigotry in every resource and using every single weapon at our disposal,” he said, adding that he chose to withdraw the US from the UN Human Rights Council due to its singling out Israel in its condemnations.

He called out anti-Semitism on the far left, including anti-Israel activism on campuses and a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar, a freshman Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota.

Trump did not mention anti-Semitism on the right, including the massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers in Pittsburgh last year.

The Democratic Majority for Israel on Twitter slammed Trump for peddling anti-Semitic tropes and ignoring the threat from the far right.

Watching Trump “traffic in antisemitic stereotypes is disgusting,” the tweet said. “Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy when discussing antisemitism is equally distressing.”

During his speech, Trump called up two people to address the audience.

One was Elan Carr, the State Department’s anti-Semitism monitor. The other was Adela Cojab, an undergraduate student at NYU, who took legal action against her school because of anti-Semitism she said she experienced. She said the Education Department was now investigating her complaint.

Trump addressing the conference represented a significant achievement for the IAC, which has risen in prominence in recent years, but still lags behind Israel lobby groups AIPAC and J Street.

The group was founded in 2007 and seeks to connect Israelis living in the US and strengthen the US-Israeli relationship.

The crowd at the conference cheered loudly as Trump finished his speech and walked off the stage.

The organization’s co-founder and CEO, Shoham Nicolet, called Trump’s address “an incredible honor and milestone.”

“It is also a message of unwavering support for the entire pro-Israel community in America,” he said in a statement to JTA.




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