Trump's Visit: U.S. Jewish Groups Laud His Support for Israel, but Some Irked by Lack of Substance

While some groups were pleased with Trump's show of support for Israel, the lack of concrete details for a peace plan bothered others

U.S. President Donald Trump walks with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before he boards Air Force One to travel to Rome, May 23, 2017.
Reuters/ Jonathan Ernst

Jewish organizations in the United States offered mixed reactions on Tuesday to President Trump's first visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. While Trump's strong expressions of support for Israel and his wish to see a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians won praise from multiple groups, others voiced concern over the lack of concrete details in his speeches and remarks.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said that Trump's rejection of a "false choice" between supporting Israel and supporting the Arab world was a good thing, but that the President's insistence on not using the term "two state solution" during the visit, was not. 

Jacobs also told Haaretz that "President Trump has said over and over that he is looking to help shape 'the ultimate deal.' We welcome his leadership, and urge him to help craft a process, and then an agreement, that guarantees peace, security and basic rights for both Israel and the Palestinians." 

Following Trump's main speech in Jerusalem Tuesday, the American Jewish Committee wrote on its twitter account: "Thank you, @POTUS, for your speech at Israel Museum. Your words of friendship, solidarity, support & hope are stirring"

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that Trump's visit reaffirmed the United States' support for Israel - and for a two state solution with the Palestinians. 

AIPAC meanwhile commended Trumps's "historic visit to Israel," which they said "reflects the deep and enduring relationship between the two critical allies," and "underscores the unwavering strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship."

On the left, J Street's communications director, Jessica Rosenblum, wrote that "there can be no doubt: There is major opportunity for the US to help bring together Israelis, Palestinians and Arab nations to transform a destructive status quo and build a better future. Arab nations like Saudi Arabia and the UAE appear poised to offer partial normalization to Israel in exchange for significant steps, like a settlement freeze, that would move in the direction of a two-state solution. But taking advantage of this historic opportunity will require determined leadership and commitment to speaking hard truths and making tough decisions. If President Trump wants to bring that kind of leadership to the issue, he needs to take steps to demonstrate it."

Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, the Republican Jewish Coalition tweeted that Trump's address at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum was "an unprecedented declaration of support, and stark contrast from the last 8 years."