Trump tackles anti-semitism in State of the Union, honors Holocaust survivors

President Donald Trump warned of rising anti-Semitism and honored two Holocaust survivors, one of whom survived the Pittsburgh shooting.

By Joseph Wolkin, World Israel News

President Donald Trump tackled anti-Semitism in the midst of his second State of the Union address.

Not only did the American president underscore America’s strong ties with Israel, but he reunited a Holocaust survivor with an American hero who liberated concentration camps.

“One of the most complex set of challenges we face and have for many years is in the Middle East,” Trump said. “Our approach is based on principled realism — not discredited theories that have failed for decades to yield progress. For this reason, my administration recognized the true capital of Israel — and proudly opened the American Embassy in Jerusalem.”

Trump also attacked Iran for calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. He said America “will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.”

The president spent several moments addressing a rise in anti-Semitism by sharing the story of Timothy Matson, a SWAT team officer who responded to the Pittsburgh Tree of the Life synagogue shooting.

“Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh,” President Trump said. “SWAT officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. And he was very successful.”

Trump spoke of the danger of rising anti-Semitism in America.

“We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” he said. “With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”

He also spoke of Judah Samet, who narrowly missed being caught in the middle of the Pittsburgh attack, arriving minutes late to services and witnessing the shootout from the parking lot. Samet is also a survivor of the Dachau concentration camp.

“Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp,” Trump said. “Suddenly, the train screeched to a halt. A soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the worst. Then, his father cried out with joy, ‘it’s the Americans.'”

Making things more special was that it happened to be Samet’s 81st birthday. When the president made note of that, the entire House chamber broke out into song, singing “Happy Birthday” to the man who narrowly escaped death multiple times.

Another survivor of Dachau, Joshua Kaufman, was also in attendance at the invitation of the president.

Trump said, “He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks.”