As part of his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night, U.S. President Donald Trump addressed the threats posed by Iran and anti-Semitism.
“My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. The radical regime in Iran is a radical regime, they do bad, bad things,” said the president in front of a joint session of Congress. “To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.”
“Last fall we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on us by a country,” continued Trump. “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants ‘death to America’ and threatens genocide against the Jewish people.”
Additionally, the president addressed anti-Semitism: “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism or those who spread its venous creed. One voice must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs.”
He then acknowledged Holocaust survivors Judah Samet and Joshua Kaufman; Timothy Matson, a SWAT team member at the Pittsburgh Police Department, who was shot during the interchange with the gunman in the Oct. 27 Tree of Life shooting; and U.S. army veteran Herman Zeitchik. All were invited as guests for the address.
Samet, who was born in Hungary and survived the Bergen-Belsen death camp, got to Shabbat-morning services about five minutes after it started—a factor that saved him from being inside during the attack by lone gunman Robert Bowers. A total of 11 Jewish worshippers were killed that day.
In honor of his 81st birthday on Tuesday, the House chamber sang “Happy Birthday” to Samet, who responded with a loud “Thank you.”
Kaufman survived Dachau. Trump said that Kaufman told him, “The American soldiers were proof that G-d exists and they came down from the sky. They came down from heaven.”
Zeitchik, who fought as part of the Allied D-Day invasion at Normandy, France, in 1944, also helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp in Germany the following year.