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‘Proud to be best friend Israel has ever had,’ Trump says at Republican Jewish Coalition summit in Vegas

The former U.S. president claimed that Hamas wouldn’t have attacked Israel if he were still in the White House.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is running for his old job, speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the RJC.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is running for his old job, speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas on Oct. 28, 2023. Credit: Courtesy of the RJC.

Among the first words that former U.S. President Donald Trump said at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual Leadership Summit in Las Vegas were “I love Israel.”

The 45th U.S. president, who is running for his old job and leads the other candidates by more than 40 points, was the last of the 2024 Republican candidates to speak during a four-hour session on Oct. 28. 

Trump noted that the world was “shattered” three weeks ago by Hamas’s attack on Israel. “To every Israeli and every American touched by these barbaric activities, we love you, we are with you, we grieve with you, we share your anger, and we stand with you 100%,” Trump said.

“Let there be no doubt,” he continued. “The killers responsible for this horrible massacre will burn forever in the eternal pit of hell.”

In his remarks at the conference, Trump said that the conflict between the Hamas terrorist organization and Israel is not one with two equal sides.

“This is a fight between civilization and savagery, between decency and depravity, and between good and evil,” he said. “There is no comparison between a group that worships death and a group that cherishes life and cherishes our nation.”

Every life that is lost in the war is the responsibility of Hamas and Iran, according to Trump, who criticized Biden for providing $100 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Trump also claimed that Hamas would not have attacked Israel if he had been U.S. president.

The former president touted his record on the Middle East, including U.S. forces killing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Maj. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force; withdrawing in May 2018 from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal; imposing oil sanctions on Iran; and withdrawing from the U.N. Human Rights Council, which he called “anti-American, anti-Israel and antisemitic.”

“While others talk about stopping funding for Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, I actually did it,” Trump said.

‘End mass importation of antisemitism’

Trump also said that he kept his promise, recognizing Israel’s eternal capital and opening the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, as well as recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and brokering the 2020 Abraham Accords.

“I’m proud to be the best friend that Israel has ever had,” Trump said. “Everybody says, ‘You sir are the best friend that Israel has ever had,’ and with four more years, I will defend America and I will defend Western civilization from the barbarians and savages and the fascists that you see right now trying to do harm to our beautiful Israel.”

Under Biden’s leadership, the nation faces two immigration disasters—one on the southern border and the other in the U.S. State Department—admitting large amounts of jihadists into communities, campuses and refugee programs, according to Trump.

“As president, I would end once and for all the mass importation of antisemitism into the United States,” he said. “Just as I did before, we will keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. We were keeping them out.”

“On day one, we’ll restore our travel ban. We had a travel ban because we didn’t want people coming into our country who really loved the idea of blowing our country up,” he said. He called the ban an “amazing success.”

“We didn’t have one incident in four years, because we kept bad people out of our country,” he claimed.

“I’ll also be implementing strong ideological screenings for all immigrants coming in,” he said. “If you hate America, if you want to abolish Israel, if you sympathize with jihadists, then we don’t want you in our country and you’re not going to be getting into our country.”

Trump also said he would cancel student visas of Hamas sympathizers.

“The college campuses are being taken over, and all of the resident aliens who joined in the pro-jihadist protests this month, nobody’s seen anything like it,” he said. “Come 2025, we will find you, and we will deport you.”

Biden has turned a blind eye to the troublemakers who led the protests, resulting in the largest outbreak of antisemitism in U.S. history, according to Trump.

“When asked recently about rising antisemitic hate, Joe Biden’s own press secretary had nothing to say about the rabid mobs on the streets shouting ‘Kill the Jews! Kill the Jews!’” he said. “She stuck up to the other side. She started talking about the other side. Then she came back later and said she misunderstood the question.”

As president, Trump said he would “absolutely protect our Jewish citizens from these maniacs, lunatics, radical left thugs. Threats or crimes of violence against Jews will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

“While in office, I took the strongest action of any president in history to combat the vile scourge of antisemitism,” Trump claimed. “I signed a landmark executive order fighting antisemitic hate on college campuses and affirming that discrimination against Jewish students will be aggressively punished as a violation of civil rights.”

As president, Trump would “put every single university and college president on notice,” he said. “The American taxpayer will not subsidize the creation of terrorist sympathizers on American soil.”

The 2024 election is the most important one in U.S. history, the former president claimed.

“If we don’t win this election, I really believe you’re not going to have Israel anymore,” he said. “And you’re not going to have the United States of America anymore.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if by “we” he meant Republicans or himself.

‘Praise for terrorists’

Before Trump took the podium at the conference, TJ Ducklo, a spokesman for U.S. President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, stated that “once again, Donald Trump is showing us who he really is by doubling down on his praise for terrorists.”

“No matter what he says tonight, the simple truth is Trump’s erratic attacks on Israel are par for the course for a man, who undermined our national security and embarrassed our nation on the world stage,” Ducklo stated. “The more Trump speaks, the more voters are reminded just how dangerous and unfit to lead he is.”

Prior to Trump’s speech, other candidates noted that he had appeared to praise Hezbollah, among other anti-Israel and anti-American groups.

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