(AP/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump

Trump highlighted his “love” for Israel and affinity for the Jewish people in a traditional Rosh Hashana call to American Jewish leaders.  

Following White House tradition, US President Donald Trump made an annual conference call Friday to influential Jewish organizations ahead of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which begins this year on Wednesday evening.

Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, said the call was part of the natural back-and-forth between the Jewish community and the administration.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and senior adviser, introduced the Rosh Hashana call Friday, saying that “anyone that knows the President understands that he takes great pride in having a Jewish daughter and Jewish grandchildren. His love and respect for the Jewish people extends way beyond his family, and into the heart of Jewish American communities..”

“Under the president’s leadership, America’s relationship with the State of Israel has never been stronger, and our country’s commitment to Israel’s security has never been greater,” Kushner stated.

“I am delighted to speak with you and to wish you Shanah Tova, a sweet New Year,” Trump began. “I send the Jewish community my warmest wishes as we approach the High Holy Days.”

In his message, Trump said he was “honored beyond words” to have the participation of several Holocaust survivors in the call. “You have borne witness to evil beyond human comprehension, and your perseverance is a lasting inspiration to us all. By telling your stories, you help us to confront evil in our world and we are forever grateful,” he said.

“I am proud to stand with the Jewish people and with our cherished friend and ally, the State of Israel,” the president declared. “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. 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. And I can tell you on a personal basis, and I just left Israel recently, I love Israel.”

Trump Condemns ‘Any Form of Slander and Hate’

The president cited success in pressuring the UN “to withdraw the unfair and biased report against Israel — that was a horrible thing that they did — and to instead focus on real threats to our security, such as Iran, Hezbollah, and ISIS [the Islamic State terror group].”

He also expressed optimism towards achieving a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. “I think it’s something that actually could happen,” he said.

He said he was “grateful for the history, culture, and values the Jewish people have given to civilization. We forcefully condemn those who seek to incite anti-Semitism, or to spread any form of slander and hate — and I will ensure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, that face threats to their safety.”

Trump concluded by thanking “each of you for the ways in which you contribute to our nation. America is stronger because of the many Jewish Americans who bring such life, hope, and resilience to our nation.”

“Melania and I wish everyone a sweet, healthy, and peaceful New Year,” he stated.

By: United with Israel Staff