January 17, 2020

Trump Condemns ‘Vile Poison’ of Anti-Semitism in IAC Speech

Photo by Noam Galai.

President Donald Trump condemned anti-Semitism in his keynote address Saturday night at the Israeli-American Council National Summit at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla.

In front of an overflow crowd of about 4,000 people, the president said, “We must not ignore the vile poison [of anti-Semitism],” adding that in the fight against anti-Semitism, his administration is “using every single weapon at its disposal.”

He proceeded to condemn the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for passing resolutions denouncing Israel yet ignoring human rights abusers like Iran. “To address this hypocrisy I withdrew the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Council,” Trump said.

The president then criticized the European Court of Justice’s ruling earlier this month to label products originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank. He touted his administration’s reversal of the State Department’s opinion that such settlements are illegal, saying that in doing so he was correcting “a longstanding injustice.”

Trump also drew attention to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, saying, “My administration vigorously condemns the BDS campaign against Israel. Sadly, BDS has disturbingly made its way onto college campuses.”

The president then praised Maccabee Task Force Northeast Coordinator Adela Cojab for filing a complaint against New York University (NYU) in May stating that the administration improperly handled incidents of anti-Semitism on campus. He asked her to come onstage and say a few remarks.

Cojab told the audience, “My university failed to protect its Jewish community from ongoing harassment.” She added that during a Yom HaAtzmaut event in April 2018, a Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) member burned an Israeli flag and another ripped a microphone out of the hands of a pro-Israel student. The latter was charged with assault.

Cojab took the university to task for subsequently giving SJP “a President’s Service Award [in April], the highest award you can receive on campus.”

In November, the Department of Education decided to investigate NYU over the matter.

“All the students in the audience today: don’t be afraid to stand up,” Cojab said. “Because you deserve better. And as an immigrant myself from Mexico City I am honored to live in a country where the Office of Civil Rights takes the concerns of Jewish students seriously.”

After Cojab left the stage, Trump criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) resolution supporting the right to boycott.

“This couldn’t have happened 10 years ago,” Trump said, later adding, “Lawmakers who support BDS are promoting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda.”

He then condemned Omar’s 2012 tweet accusing Israel of hypnotizing the world and her February tweet about the “Benjamins.”

“My administration strongly opposes this despicable rhetoric,” Trump said.