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May 23, 2017 6:49 pm

Major US Jewish Organizations on Left and Right Hail Trump’s Israel Visit

avatar by Ben Cohen

US President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sara Netanyahu. Photo: Netanyahu’s Twitter account.

American Jewish organizations were in almost unanimous agreement over the success of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel, a series of statements released on Tuesday made clear.

“We applaud President Trump’s historic declaration of support for Israel, for her security and for her right to exist as the free and sovereign nation of the Jewish people in their ancient homeland,” said the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

The RJC asserted that Trump’s “words stood in stark contrast from the previous American administration’s policies. The Obama administration gave us eight years of ‘daylight’ between the US and Israel, a dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, and a set of policies that allowed terrorist groups to grow and thrive across the region. That era is over.”

The dovish Israel Policy Forum (IPF) was also positive about Trump’s impact, applauding “the sentiments expressed in his speech today in Jerusalem urging both sides to resolve their conflict and make peace within a larger regional framework.”

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“As the president noted, a deal can be reached with determination and compromise, and it will rest upon a foundation of security for Israelis – which requires that Palestinian incitement be seriously addressed – and dignity and self-determination for Palestinians,” the IPF said.

“This is a unique moment to take advantage of a regional alignment that will integrate Israel into the broader Middle East, should it successfully resolve the Palestinian issue, and all parties should seize the opportunities that arise,” the IPF declared.

AIPAC, the principal lobbying organization for Israel in the US, also expressed its gratitude. “We appreciate that the president went to the Jewish state as part of his first foreign trip in office—and he is the first sitting president to go to the Western Wall, near Judaism’s holiest site. This visit underscores the unwavering strength of the US-Israel relationship and the Jewish state’s vital importance as America’s strategic partner in a volatile region,” AIPAC said.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations highlighted Trump’s condemnation of incitement and terror financing following his meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

“[I]n the President’s remarks during his meeting with President Abbas in Bethlehem earlier in the day, he pointedly observed that, ‘Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded.’  Until the Palestinian Authority ends its loathsome policy of financial incentives for perpetrators of terror attacks against Israelis, President Abbas’ readiness cannot be taken seriously by the Israeli people,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the organization’s Executive Vice Chairman.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said that it “saluted President Trump for his steadfast support of the US-Israel relationship, Israeli security and its age-old quest for peace, the eternal link between the Jewish people and the land of Israel, and firm commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

“President Trump has demonstrated that the US-Israel bond, based on shared democratic values, remains unshakable and is central to his world view,” said AJC CEO David Harris.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also added its voice to the chorus of praise for Trump. “The president’s remarks at Yad Vashem were an important statement about his appreciation for the horrors suffered by the Jewish people during the Holocaust, and the need to remain vigilant in the face of anti-Semitism today,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

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