Jewish groups praised President Donald Trump’s historic speech in Saudi Arabia calling on Muslim countries to confront Islamic extremism.
“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists,” Trump said Sunday in his speech to dozens of Muslim leaders in Riyadh.
“Drive. Them. Out. Drive them out of your places of worship,” Trump declared. “Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this Earth!…Honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.”
David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, welcomed Trump’s “refreshingly honest” take on the “Islamist extremist threat that developed in the Middle East years ago.”
“We agree that the fight against Islamist extremism is a battle between the forces of good and decency, on the one hand, and evil and a death cult, on the other, and that victory depends, above all, on what Arab and Muslim nations do to counter and defeat this violent, deadly scourge,” Harris said, adding Trump “could not have been clearer in his description of Hezbollah and Hamas as the terrorist groups they most assuredly are.”
Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, called Trump’s remarks “historic, important, courageous,” while praising the American leader for strongly condemning Iran, Islamic State, Hezbollah and Hamas “in the same sentence—for they are all part of the scourge of Islamist terror.”
Klein, however, expressed disappointment that Trump did not call on Muslim leaders to condemn the terror groups by name, and that Trump also did not insist Muslim leaders end the use of textbooks promoting Islamic extremism.
Further, Klein said Trump should have mentioned the “refusal of much of the Muslim world to negotiate with and accept Israel as a Jewish state.”