In his first address to Congress, Trump immediately denounced the recent wave of anti-Semitic threats in the US as well as attacks on all groups. He also reaffirmed his commitment to Israel and to fighting Iran’s ballistic missile program.
President Donald Trump chose to begin his first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night by condemning the recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the US. He also reaffirmed the US’ “unbreakable alliance with Israel,” adding that he has imposed new sanctions on those who support Iran’s missile program.
The speech was interrupted at least 100 times with resounding applause, and the president got 58 standing ovations, mostly from Republicans.
“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. 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,” he stated.
Last week, two Indian men were shot in Kansas City. One died in hospital.
Since January, some 90 bomb threats have been called into Jewish organizations in five waves, the latest occurring on Monday.
Similarly, two Jewish cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized and desecrated.
According to the latest FBI statistics, the number of anti-Semitic criminal offenses rose from 635 in 2014 to 695 in 2015.
Speaking last Wednesday following the fourth wave of bomb threats to Jewish centers across the US, Trump denounced anti-Semitism and threats against Jewish community centers as “horrible” and “painful,” saying more needed to be done “to root out hate and prejudice and evil.”
Speaking after a tour of the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, Trump said that “this tour was a meaningful reminder of why we have to fight bigotry, intolerance and hatred in all of its very ugly forms.”