Israeli Ambassador Sets the Record Straight When CNN Pulls Trump into Pittsburgh Shooting


Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, completely closed down a line of questioning by a CNN reporter concerning whether President Donald Trump shared some responsibility for the Saturday attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, which left 11 dead. 

CNN’s Victor Blackwell pointed to a statistic released by Anti-Defamation League that found during the first year of Trump’s presidency there was a 57 percent increase in acts of harassment, vandalism and violence directed at the Jewish community in the U.S. Blackwell then asked Dermer to what he attributes the surge in anti-Semitic attacks.

“I think you’ve seen an increase in anti-Semitism really now for a couple of decades,” Dermer replied. He offered the example of a 2006 shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation during the administration of George W. Bush, when six people were shot, one of whom died.

The ambassador then noted that there were attacks on two Jewish centers in Kansas City in 2014 when Barack Obama was president, during which five people were shot at and three died. 

“I think that what you’ve seen in the past few years is an explosion of hatred on social media and that has allowed a lot of these people who maybe were alone in their hatred to build these communities online,” Dermer said.

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He further highlighted in 2014-2015 over half the hate crimes recorded by the FBI were toward Jews, though they make up approximately 2 percent of the American population.

CNN reported at the time the number of hate crimes against Jews rose 9 percent to 664 incidents from 2014 to 2015. By comparison, the number of hate crimes against Muslims that year was 257.

When asked if he thought the president had any responsibility for Saturday’s attack, Dermer praised Trump’s response to it.

Do you think Trump shares any responsibility for Saturday's synagogue attack?

“I have been following anti-Semitism all of my adult life,” the Israeli official said. “I have never heard a stronger statement than the statement the president of the United States made (in Illinois).”

At a campaign rally in Murphysboro, Illinois, on the day of the shooting, Trump said, “This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us. It’s an assault on humanity. It will require all of us working together to extract the hateful poison of anti-Semitism from the world.”

The president then recounted that the “Jews have endured terrible persecution” through the centuries, but he promised, “Those seeking their destruction, we will seek their destruction.”

Dermer added, “One of the reasons why is that anti-Semitism hits the president close to home (because) his daughter, his son-in-law, and his grandchildren are Jewish.”

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“I was very glad to see how forcefully he pushed back against the (anti-Semitic shooting),” Dermer said.

In a separate interview on Fox News, the ambassador stated that he was heartened not just by Trump’s words at Saturday’s rally, but by his supporters’ response.

“Not only did I hear that statement, I heard it applauded by all of Trump’s supporters at that rally,” he said. 

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith