“We have to get them to love Israel more. Because you have people that are Jewish people that are great people – they don’t love Israel enough,” he said.
By World Israel News Staff and JNS
President Donald Trump celebrated his pro-Israel record, criticized BDS supporters in Congress such as Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar and vowed to keep pressure on Iran, in a well-received speech before 4,000 on Saturday before the Israeli-American Council.
Trump enumerated his pro-Israel moves at the Israeli-American Council’s annual conference in Florida, including recognizing moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, cutting U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority, pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions and recognizing Israelis sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Most recently, the Trump administration rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion and declared that Israeli settlements are not illegal.
“After eight long years in which our alliance was undermined and neglected, I’m happy to report that the United States-Israeli relationship is stronger now than ever before,” Trump said.
“We have to get the people of our country, of this country, to love Israel more, I have to tell you that. We have to do it. We have to get them to love Israel more. Because you have people that are Jewish people that are great people – they don’t love Israel enough,” he said.
Trump spoke of his decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s capital. He said “many many presidents said they were going to move the Embassy to Jerusalem and they never did it, and I understand why they never did it. When they thought I was going to do it, and they I heard I was going to make an announcement in two weeks, I started getting calls from everyone: ‘Don’t do it. It will be terrible if you do it. It will be horrible if you do it.’”
“And then the time came closer and closer, and I learned why other presidents, in all fairness to them, why they made the campaign promise but why they never got it off. They were beseeched by foreign leaders, the biggest people in the world called them.
“About a week and a half in I said, ‘Listen, tell these people I’ll call them back. I’m so busy.’ And then I made the announcement at the White House that we’re moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, and it was a big deal and it was great, and a day went by, and a second day went by and there was no violence. About 20 people were violent in the front row but there was nobody behind them,” Trump said.
He also took a shot at the Obama administration, in which he said that the U.S.-Israel relationship “suffered greatly.”
“I don’t think they liked Israel too much,” he said.
Trump decried “the vile poison of anti-Semitism,” particularly the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Movement touted by members of Congress, adding that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been “pushed around” by them.
“This could not have happened 10 years ago,” said Trump. “Radical lawmakers who support the BDS movement are advancing anti-Israel and anti-Semitic” legislation.
Trump was introduced by Israeli-born Dr. Miriam Adelson, alongside her American born husband Sheldon Adelson. The pair are the mega-philanthropists behind Israeli-American Council, who Trump called the “fastest growing Jewish organization in America.”
Closing the speech was a rendition of ‘God bless America’ by the Israeli Shalva Band.