In the wake of Saturday's mass murder at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue — where 11 people died and six others were wounded, including four police officers — President Donald Trump told a campaign rally crowd in Illinois that "anti-Semitic" killers should "pay the ultimate price."
"This evil, anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us," Trump told the crowd at the start of his speech. "It's an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from our world. ... The scourge of anti-Semitism cannot be ignored, cannot tolerated, and it cannot be allowed to continue ... it must be confronted and condemned everywhere it raises its very ugly head. We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate."
The Jewish people have "endured terrible persecution" over the centuries, Trump added, and "those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction," he noted, strongly emphasizing his words to the delight of the cheering GOP crowd.
“When you have crimes like this, whether it is this one or another one on another group, we have to bring back the death penalty," the president also said. "They have to pay the ultimate price ... We must draw a line in the sand and say very strongly, ‘Never again.’”
Trump has been a major supporter of Israel during his term so far:
- He moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May — a decision that enraged Palestinians.
- Trump also officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to repudiate.
- The Trump administration said last month that it will close the main office for the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., due to the PLO’s lack of cooperation with the Middle East peace process.
Here's a clip of Trump's speech. The relevant portion starts just before the 2-minute mark: