- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 6, 2019

President Trump elicited cheers Saturday at a Republican Jewish Coalition conference for recognizing Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The president also played to the crowd by mentioning the name of Muslim Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, which drew loud boos from the audience in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Special thanks to Representative Omar of Minnesota,” the president said tongue-in-cheek. As the booing cascaded in the venue, Mr. Trump added, “Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel. I forgot. I’m so sorry.”

Mr. Trump told the crowd that Republicans are taking a stronger stand than Democrats in preventing potential boycotts and sanctions against Israel, calling the boycott movement anti-Semitic.

“Republicans believe that we must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism,” Mr. Trump said. “If implemented, the Democrats’ radical agenda would destroy our economy, cripple our country, and very well could leave Israel out there all by yourselves. Can’t do that.”

But in referring to next week’s reelection bid by embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr. Trump sounded a note of caution about his good friend.

“Who’s going to win the race?” he asked. As people in the audience chanted “Bibi!”, the president replied only, “I think it’s going to be close. Two good people.”

Mr. Netanyahu is running against former general Benny Gantz, leader of a centrist coalition. Mr. Netanyahu has taken credit for persuading Mr. Trump to recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights.

Mr. Trump also touted his decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, saying, “Unlike other presidents, I keep my promises. Every president for many decades said they were going to do that … I did it.”

The president also suggested that he played a game of cat and mouse with world leaders who were opposed to him moving the embassy.

“My phone was ringing off the hook,” Mr. Trump said. “So I knew I was going to do it, so I left a message. I said: ‘I’ll call you next week. It took me like there weeks to return the calls. I did it. I did it. Then I started calling people back. ‘King, how are you? I called you last week. So what’s up?’”

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