Young Israel Statement on President Trump’s State of the Union Address

February 6, 2019

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) today praised President Trump for his comments about anti-Semitism in last night’s State of the Union address. “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed,” remarked the President. “With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”
In addition, the NCYI thanked the President for making the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh a focal point of his speech, and for honoring and recognizing two Holocaust survivors, as a well as a Pittsburgh police officer who was wounded while fighting the gunman during the shooting spree. Further, the NCYI commended the President for his statements about the importance of confronting Iran, which he noted he has done by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal and imposing sanctions. In his remarks, President Trump said that Iran is “the world’s leading state sponsor of terror,” and emphatically asserted that the United States “will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.”
Among the special guests invited by President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to attend the State of the Union was Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor who escaped the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Police Officer Timothy Matson, who was shot several times by the gunman during the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue as he tried to help the congregants, Joshua Kaufman, a Holocaust survivor who was a prisoner at the Dachau concentration camp, and Herman Zeitchik, a veteran who fought for the United States during World War II and helped liberate Dachau.
The following is the National Council of Young Israel’s statement:
“By using his State of the Union address to focus on the grave danger posed by anti-Semitism, President Trump made it abundantly clear how committed he is to combating religious intolerance and battling bigotry. Through his affirmations and actions, President Trump is sending a clear message to the world that reprehensible acts of anti-Semitism are unacceptable and unpardonable.
“By paying homage to two men who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust, as well to two individuals who put their lives on the line to save Jews from the throes of anti-Semitic hatred, President Trump highlighted the resilience of the human spirit, and spotlighted the importance of never turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise and racist acts directed at Jews have become all too prevalent, President Trump’s call to confront anti-Semitism whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head was particularly poignant.
“President Trump’s comments about the perils posed by a nuclear-armed Iran underscored the malevolent desire of the rogue regime to eliminate the State of Israel and wreak havoc on the United States. We commend President Trump for his continued desire to stand together with Israel and for his enduring commitment to the safety and security of the Jewish state. At a time when Israel faces existential threats on multiple fronts, President Trump’s friendship and steadfastness to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship is deeply appreciated.”