Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Jewish takeaways from Donald Trump’s State of the Union address

Jewish takeaways from Donald Trump’s State of the Union address

"Just months ago, 11 Jewish Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh", Trump said, as he introduced SWAT officer Timothy Matson, who responded to the scene, and Judah Samet, a Holocaust survivor who also survived the attack. "With one voice, we must confront this hatred anywhere and everywhere it occurs", he said in his highly anticipated 82-minute speech before a joint session of the US Congress, with his main Democratic adversary, new House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, watching over his shoulder.

He said the world was entering "an era of decentralised jihad", and said the USA would call on its allies for help "very soon". Trump also ordered the military to develop plans to remove up to half of the 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan.

"We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement - but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace", Trump said.

The United States also has a large air base in Iraqi Kurdistan, but experts told Al-Monitor it's not clear that air operations from that site or monitoring from al-Asad could effectively disrupt Iran-backed supply lines, which are strung up along air, maritime and land-based corridors throughout the region.

Top Donald Trump administration officials indicated today that U.S. bases in Iraq would have little role in monitoring Iran-backed proxies after the president vowed in a TV interview that American troops would stay in the country to "watch" Iranian forces.

Earlier Wednesday, Zarif pushed back after Trump appeared to link Iran to the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue past year by an American anti-Semite.

Following a partial government shutdown over which tensions between Trump and Democratic leadership became white-hot, the president took a different tack with the address, highlighting progress in the economy and foreign policy and defense and calling on the nation to come together.

Trump has said he has no plans to withdraw the 5,200 troops in Iraq, which he says could carry out United States airstrikes inside Syria after American troops withdraw from that country.

"We spent a fortune on building this incredible base". In other words, we had Iraq.

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a non-binding resolution condemning Trump's plans to withdraw troops from those two conflicts, and slapped new sanctions on the Syrian government.

"I hope you can pass the USMCA into law so we can bring back our manufacturing jobs in even greater numbers, expand American agriculture, protect intellectual property, and ensure that more cars are proudly stamped with our four lovely words: 'Made in the U.S.A'".

He said the wall will be built in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need, and "where walls go up, illegal crossings go way, way down".

In his comments to the committee, Votel said the president did not consult him on the Syria withdrawal.

ISIS "continues to attract foreign fighters" at a rate of "most likely 50 per month", the task force said.

"He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth", Trump said. "The a major power.but do not pursue your own policy priorities, we live here".

Trump has met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un once before, and during the speech, he announced that a second meeting was scheduled in Vietnam on February 27-28.

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