On Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, President Trump denounces anti-semitism.

United States President Donald Trump’s speech to the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly said it’s imperative that anti-Semitism is defeated. He added that the Holocaust was one of the darkest days in human history. The occasion behind the speech was Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. The president made a video address to members of the assembly in New York.

These words cannot be said at a more pertinent time as the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group with a special focus towards Jews, discovered a marked rise in anti-Semitic crimes and wanton vandalism in 2016 when compared to 2015. There is also ample evidence that hatred towards Jews rose during the time of the presidential election. The ADL found about 1,266 instances of harassment against Jews in 2016. The number was 941 in 2015 and about 912 in 2014. The rise in hatred continued during the first quarter of 2017. About 541 cases were documented in 2017. In 2016, the numbers were nearly half, 291 during the first three months.

The first half of 2017 was dominated by a tranche of 150 bomb threats. The first of such threats were given in January against the Jewish-owned day schools and community centers. Authorities promptly arrested the troublemaker- a Jewish hacker holding dual Israeli-American citizenship. According to the ADL, this must also be considered as an anti-Semitic crime as Jews remained the target.

For the Trump administration, the President's well-said speech was a respite from the repeated gaffes the White House made from the time Trump took over as the President. To give an example, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day saw a statement issued by the Trump administration which failed to mention the most important thing of all, the Jews themselves. People belonging to the religion were slaughtered in concentration camps under orders issued by Adolf Hitler, the Nazi dictator.

The gaffes did not end there. Sean Spicer, the spokesman of the White House, created a controversy when he compared President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to Hitler. He said even Hitler did not sink to the lows of Assad when the latter bombed his own people. Spicer later apologized. Trump said it is vital to stamp out anti-Semitism and prejudice everywhere. It is important that terrorism must be defeated.

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