“We all have great gratitude to this person,” Rabbi David Katz, executive director of the Israel Heritage Foundation, said from the podium, gesturing toward former U.S. President Donald Trump at his right.
“This is a person that doesn’t care only for himself but cares for the entire world,” Katz said. “Especially for the people in Israel and for the Jews in America.”
The rabbi extended the “blessings from Israel” and wishes for a long, healthy and sweet life to “the president, his family and all his friends.” Some 150 Orthodox Jews looked on at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, in New Jersey, on July 10, as the Israel Heritage Foundation awarded the former president a Keter Yerushalayim (Crown of Jerusalem) award.
Longtime pro-Israel advocate Dr. Joseph Frager, executive vice president of the Israel Heritage Foundation, served as event emcee.
“The Israel Heritage Foundation strives to preserve the memory of the 6 million Jews murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis. The Israel Heritage Foundation fights antisemitism day in and day out. And the Israel Heritage Foundation advocates for the land of Israel, especially in Judea and Samaria and even more especially, for sovereignty in area C,” Dr. Frager said.
He presented the award, a silver Torah crown contained in a glass box, along with Katz. An inscription quoted Psalm 136:1 and noted Trump’s “extraordinary and heroic efforts to help the State of Israel and the Jewish People.”
A JNS review of photos posted on the foundation’s website revealed that at least two members of Congress, Reps. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) and Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.), were on hand. Mort Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, also attended.
“It is clear that many in the Orthodox community are very supportive of Donald Trump, and Donald Trump is very supportive of them,” Burchett told JNS. “The U.S.-Israel relationship was never stronger than it was under President Trump.”
A video recording of the event begins with a musician noting that despite live music being prohibited during this period of mourning for the destruction of the Temple—known as the Three Weeks—it was decided that “in honor of this prestigious event, and the attendance of President Trump, we have determined that live music accompanying the anthems will be befitting of this occasion.” Both the U.S. and Israeli anthems were performed.
“I’ve often heard the president lament that with all the great things he’s done for the State of Israel and for the Jewish people, why is his support so low, relatively speaking. Why doesn’t he get a tremendous amount of support from the Jewish people?” said Lewis Topper, a Florida businessman, introducing Trump.
“The only thing I can think of is that after seeing myriads of miracles, only 20% of the Jews left Egypt to follow Moses into the desert,” he added. “So I think the president’s doing pretty well.”
Trump told the audience, “The United States backs Israel, but they back it less than they used to. I was having a lot of problems getting support for Israel and I can’t really understand it.”
If he decided to “give this up and go over to Israel,” he would be elected prime minister “very quickly,” he added.
The former president noted that he polls at 99% in Israel, but at only 26% or 28% among U.S. Jews.
“I should be at 100%,” he said.
Trump also told stories about the construction of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, discussed recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel and talked about the election being rigged. About moving the embassy and recognizing the Golan Heights, he said he was told the world would blow up if he did either. “Both of them I did, nothing happened,” he said.
Leading up to moving the embassy, Trump said the world’s most powerful leaders called him asking him not to do it. “What I did is I turned off my phone,” he said. “I set a date for signing, which was a Thursday, and when people called I said, ‘I’ll get back to you on Monday.’”
Trump applauded his administration’s work on the Iran nuclear deal, but said that the Biden administration has since bungled things with Iran. “That was the worst deal,” he said. “You cannot allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
And of the Abraham Accords, Trump claimed, “We had four countries that we had them lined up to sign if that election were legitimate. If we were in there. We would have had virtually every country in the Middle East. You would have had peace in the Middle East.”
He concluded with advice for the Jews present.
“You’ve got to be more proactive in Congress, because you’re not getting support. You’re just not getting support. People that used to support you, they sort of go and hide,” he said. “And people that frankly weren’t supporting you much, those people actually have become your enemy. It’s inconceivable for me as somebody that grew up on 16 Court Street in Brooklyn.”