House High Holy Days Call
September 27, 2019
Hello and thank you for joining today's High Holy Days call with Jewish
faith leaders. Please note that this call is being recorded. At this time all
audience members are in listen-only mode to minimize background noise. There
will be Q&A at the end of this call, and we will provide instructions at
that time. I would now like to formally begin today's call and introduce
President of the United States, Donald J Trump.
a great honor to be with you and to host our third annual call with Jewish
leaders, rabbis and friends to wish you Shana Tova, a sweet new year. During the
High Holy Days, families gather in synagogues across the country and around the
world to sound the shofar and pray, reflect and thank God for His many
As we mark the Jewish New Year,
our entire country is reminded of the infinite ways Jewish Americans strengthen
our communities, uplift our nation, and deepen our culture. You care for your
neighbors, teach your children, cherish our heritage, and you embody the
American dream. Throughout history, the Jewish people have suffered unthinkable
oppression and persecution, yet they have persevered, endured, thrived, and
created a flourishing democracy - the state of Israel.
In the last two and a half years,
we have strengthened the everlasting friendship between the United States and
Israel. I moved the United States Embassy to Jerusalem. We recognized Israel's
sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which was something they were trying to have
done for 72, or 52 years to be more specific. We're confronting Iran, a regime
that chants "Death to Israel."
As I said in my recent address to
United Nations, America will never tolerate anti-Semitic hate. In recent months,
our entire nation was stricken with shock and grief and righteous anger when two
horrific anti-Semitic murderers attacked synagogues in California and
Pennsylvania. To every survivor, family member and to the entire Jewish
community, all of America embraces you with love. We pledge our undying and
total resolve to excise the vile placing of anti-Semitism from our world.
Earlier this year, I appointed a new special envoy to monitor and combat
anti-Semitism. Elan Carr, who is with us now and will provide an update shortly.
In the wake of such atrocious attacks, millions have been inspired by
Jewish-American heroes who responded to the worst evil with remarkable bravery.
During my State of the Union Address, we were all moved by the presence of
Pittsburgh survivor, Judah Samet, who also survived the Holocaust. In May, on
the National Day of Prayer in the Rose Garden, we were joined by members of the
congregation from Poway, California, including Rabbi Goldstein. This afternoon
we're joined on the call by survivors of the Holocaust. We cannot comprehend the
persecution and suffering you have endured, yet you have overcome the darkest
chapters of human history with the purity of love and goodness in your hearts.
We renew our pledge now and always. Never again.
I understand that during this
time of year, you often read Psalm 27. We remember the promise of those words
that says, "Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take
Today, we thank God for His
faithfulness and for the countless ways Jewish-Americans bless our nation.
I again want to thank you all for
joining this call. Melania and I wish you a very happy, peaceful and prosperous
new year. And now I'd like to invite Special Envoy Elan Carr to tell us about
his crucial work. Elan.
Mr. President, thank you so
much and thank you for making the fight against anti-Semitism which always refer
to as "the vile poison of anti-Semitism," that's exactly what it is.
Thank you for making this fight a national priority.
Friends on this call, this
current week alone illustrates the breadth of the work we're doing. Three days
ago, Tuesday, I was in Warsaw, where I set forth key strategies to combat
anti-Semitism to the 57 different national governments in the OSCE region. Then
the next day, on Wednesday, I was in Brussels at the European Parliament where
the Israeli government and I together confronted the anti-Semitic BDS movement;
and during those very same days I was on inter-agency phone calls with
Washington addressing the anti-Semitism on US college campuses. This points to
the breadth of our work at the President's direction, we are simultaneously
confronting far-right ethnic supremacy, radical-left Israel hatred, and militant
Islam. With the Trump's administration continued leadership, I'm hopeful that we
can roll back the rise of anti-Semitism both here at home and abroad.
Thank you all so
much. Thank you, Mr. President and Shana Tova.
Well, thank you very much Elan. We really appreciate; you're going to be
phenomenal. Do a great job, I have no doubt about it. Your past has been
incredible and that's usually a good indication of your future. Thank you very
Special Envoy Carr:
now, I'd like to call upon a friend of mine, a friend of all of us, Senator Norm
Coleman to ask a question.
Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President just on a personal note, as Chair
of the Republican Jewish Coalition, thank you for all you've done to strengthen
the US-Israeli relationship. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
thank you, Norm.
Coleman: But my
question Mr. President focuses on Iran, and I'm going to thank you again, by the
way, for pulling the plug on what you aptly described as the "worst deal
ever," the Obama nuclear deal that gave Iran 150 billion dollars to fund
their terrorist networks in the amount of guaranteed debt and nuclear weapons.
We've also already imposed the toughest sanctions ever hitting Iran's
Revolutionary Guard, cut source, and now central bank. But Iran still bombs
Saudi oil fields, it's law makers and Supreme Leader chant "Death to
America," and it continues to be the greatest existential threat to the
Jewish state, Israel.
As we look forward Mr. President,
what else can you do to curtail Iran's nefarious actions?
Iran continues its provocative actions and they threaten our partners and
allies, and supporting terrorism, developing ballistic missiles, increasing
uranium enrichment. You know all about that Norm; and I don't want military
conflict, but we've offered to talk, we've offered to discuss things.
Right now, Iran is doing very
badly, they're a nation that's much different than it was when I became
president almost three years ago. If you look back, you'll see that Iran was in
more than 18 points of confliction. They were misbehaving in a very bad way in
18 different sections of the Middle East. They were very provocative. They were
behind it. I've shown great restraint, and hope that Iran likewise chooses
peace. I can't tell you exactly what's going to be happening, but we're
A friend of mine asked me a
couple of questions the other day and I asked him one, I said, "So which
was more important, bringing the Jerusalem into effect by having our embassy go
to Jerusalem thereby becoming the capital of Israel, or the Golan Heights?"
I said, "Which of those two things in your opinion were more important,
Jerusalem or the Golan Heights?" And he said, “Neither. It's what you've
done for us with Iran." And I said, "You know I've never thought of it
that way, but I probably happen to agree with you."
But we have done, the embassy in
Jerusalem which was such a big deal at the time and promised by many, many
presidents and they never fulfilled their promise; and I understood why because
once I got here, there was tremendous pressure on me not to do that, but I did
it; and the other one was Golan Heights. And as I said for 52 years, they've
been trying to do something, and I did that also for Israel, and now we're in
the process of Iran and it will work out. I can't tell you exactly how or why,
but it'll work out because it always does. I have a tendency to make things work
out one way or the other. Sometimes, it's not pretty but it happens. So, you can
just rest assured. But Iran is a very bad actor, it's been a bad actor for a
long period of time and we're going to end that.
So, thank you very much for that
question and Helen Erskine, please if you're there, the Women Zionist
Organization. Highly respected person by the way, Helen. So, do you have a
you. Of course, I do. Mr. President, thank you for taking the time to speak with
all of us on this call. As you know, I'm speaking today as the National
President of Hadassah, the Women Zionist Organization of America, and I'm also
the daughter of a World War Two veteran who liberated the mass held in the Nazi
As you mentioned, we remember the
horrific attacks in Pittsburgh and Poway, and our concerns about violence amid
rising anti-Semitism and extremism remain front and center. To reduce this slip
before it's too late, we believe that the solution may be Holocaust education.
Many students are not being taught about the Holocaust in schools including the
dangers of bigotry and hatred.
Mr. President, do you believe
students in America should learn the lessons of the Holocaust, and how can we
work together on this?
thank you for a very good question, Helen. I think that American students should
learn the important lessons of the Holocaust. I have two great special envoys
who look at this issue right here and around the world, and one who you just
heard from who is a tremendous special envoy to monitor and combat
anti-Semitism. Again, Elan, thank you very much. Cherrie Daniels also works in
my administration as a talented special envoy for Holocaust issues. We have many
great programs throughout the United States, as you know, to teach this in both
the Department of Education and the Department of State are engaged in active
work on Holocaust education here and abroad.
This is important as we should
promote awareness of these lessons, and just remember that I've grown up always
hearing "Never forget, never forget, never forget.” And that's been a
very very important part of, I think, what you're talking about Helen, and we
will never forget. Education is very important, and we will keep it very much in
Thank you, Mr. President.
Well, thank you and thank everybody. It really has been an honor to be
with you and we'll have many many great years together. Thank you all.
you to all of our speakers and thank you all in the audience for joining us