Trump condemns anti-Semitism in annual call with United States rabbis

Jewish worshipers in Uman

Trump condemns anti-Semitism in annual call with United States rabbis

"We forcefully condemn those who seek to promote anti-Semitism", the president told the participants of the call.

In the call, which did not include a question and answer session, Trump apparently expressed his admiration for the Jewish community's contributions to American society.

But several Jewish community leaders protested the annual phone-in over Trump's response to a neo-Nazi rally last month in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which he was perceived to be equating their violent behavior with that of the minority groups in their crosshairs. 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 called a recent report on Israel by the United Nations "unfair and biased, " and "a disgusting thing that they did" and said it should instead focus on Iran, Hezbollah and the Islamic State.

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The United States will always support Israel not only because of the vital security partnership between our two nations, but because of the shared values between our two peoples.

He noted that survivors of the Holocaust were invited on the call, and underscored the importance of telling their history.

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.

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That is why my administration has successfully pressured the United Nations to withdraw the unfair and biased report against Israel - that was a awful thing that they did - and to instead focus on real threats to our security, such as Iran, Hezbollah, and ISIS.

The Jewish community, which is politically and religiously diverse, has a complicated relationship with Trump. During Trump's first state visit overseas, he made a point to become the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites in Jerusalem. A recent survey found that 77 percent of Jews have an unfavorable opinion of the president, with the rate of disapproval even higher among Reform Jews, the largest denomination in America.

"He condemned anti-Semitism in the strongest terms and basically said that America is a stronger country because of its vibrant Jewish community", Hier, who delivered a blessing at Trump's inauguration, told HuffPost. The call included non-rabbis as well. He dialed in Friday.

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In August, Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Jewish organizations jointly criticized the president for his comments on Charlottesville. There are important issues we face - political, religious issues; issues of ethical and moral concern. Anyone that knows the President understands that he takes great pride in having a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren. Trump spoke to far fewer rabbis; Obama's calls reached hundreds of participants.

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