(JNS.org) President Donald Trump began his address to Congress Tuesday night by calling attention to the recent nationwide wave of anti-Jewish threats and attacks.
“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” Trump said. “Recent threats targeting Jewish community centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”
Since the beginning of this year, at least 90 bomb threats have been received at 73 JCCs and other Jewish institutions across 30 U.S. states and one Canadian province. Additionally, Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in Philadelphia and near St. Louis.
In his speech, Trump also noted how his administration “reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel” by recently imposing “new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program,” following Iran’s ballistic missile test in defiance of a United Nations resolution.
Defending his controversial travel ban affecting non-citizens’ entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries, Trump said, “According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home—from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.”
“It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur,” he said. “Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.”
The president also mentioned his nascent administration’s efforts to combat the Islamic State terror group.
“As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS—a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs,” said Trump. “We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”
The Trump administration is proposing an increase of $54 billion, or 10 percent, in military spending.
“To keep America safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and—if they must—to fight and to win,” Trump said. “I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the defense sequester and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”