Tags: Ronald Lauder | World Jewish Congress | Trump | Israel

World Jewish Congress President: Trump Is Not Anti-Semitic

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 02:42 PM

President-elect Donald Trump not only isn't anti-Semitic, but he would not have anyone around him who is, former U.S. Ambassador Ron Lauder, now the president of the World Jewish Congress, insisted on Wednesday.

"I was shocked during the time of the election when people were talking about him being anti-Semitic," Lauder told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, explaining that he has known Trump for 50 years, dating back to when they were classmates at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

"There is not an anti-Semitic bone in his body," Lauder continued. "He is a man who believes strongly in Jewish values and he's a man who believes strongly in Israel, and that did not come out in the campaign."

There was concern during the presidential campaign, Lauder said, because "they wanted to make Donald Trump something he wasn't."

"This man who believes strongly in Jewish values, he's a man who I must tell you the people in Israel will appreciate and I think you will find that he will push very, very strongly those values," said Lauder.

"At the same time, Donald Trump is somebody who has a world view. I must tell you in the Middle East he's respected."

Scarborough pointed out that Steve Bannon, the former Breitbart News owner who will become Trump's chief strategist, has been accused of anti-Semitism, and Lauder admitted he doesn't know Bannon or his "birthright."

"I do know that Donald Trump will never have somebody around him who is anti-Semitic," said Lauder, also speaking highly of David Friedman, Trump's pick to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

"David Friedman, he has strong Jewish values," said Lauder, while emphasizing that ambassadors carry out the policies their presidents make, and he believes Friedman will do the same.

Meanwhile, there have been many presidents who have come into office talking solving the Israeli-Palestinian situation, but all have failed "because they were trying to make a deal between two people," said Lauder.

He said he has faith in Trump, though, as the president-elect "has that experience to understand how to make a deal, and if anyone has a chance, it's him."

As president of the World Jewish Congress, Lauder has also put together a survey, polling 5,000 Jewish people in six countries, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Argentina, and Israel and determined several top findings:

  • 24 percent were mostly concerned with terrorism.
  • 23 percent, the economy.
  • 13 percent, the rise of radical Islam.
  • 7 percent, anti-Semitism.

In addition, Iran was seen as a significant threat by one in four Jews that were surveyed across the world, and 58 opposed the Iran nuclear deal, including 47 percent in the United States.

"The only place that it was even somewhat positive among Jews is the United States," said Lauder, who also opposes the plan.

"Throughout the rest of the world, they opposed it by very large numbers and the fact is that for them the whole question of Iran is part of the terrorism that's going on and they look at Iran and Muslim extremism as one of them in the same.

"They look at them as saying the United States has just given Iran a free pass to do more terrorism by giving them the necessary money and taking away some of the sanctions."

In another part of the poll, 70 percent said they believe anti-Semitism is more common now than it was 15 years ago, and Lauder said he finds that "very disturbing."

"After World War II, nobody was anti-Semitic particularly, because they didn't want to side with Nazis," Lauder said. But attitudes started changing because of outside groups, "mainly Muslim extremists" were pushing harder and harder, and "in France, it's the worse."

But still, he pointed out, 66 percent of Jews around the world still have a positive feeling for the future.

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President-elect Donald Trump not only isn't anti-Semitic, but he would not have anyone around him who is, former U.S. Ambassador Ron Lauder, now the president of the World Jewish Congress, insisted on Wednesday.
Ronald Lauder, World Jewish Congress, Trump, Israel
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2016-42-21
Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016 02:42 PM
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