President Trumps Speech In Riyadh

05/22/2017 05:05 pm ET | Updated 2 hours ago

THE HILL

Speaking to leaders from across the Muslim world, it was important that President Tump addressed the growing threats from terrorism and extremism which have threatened America, Europe and the Middle East. For there to be stability across the Arab world it is vital that there is religious tolerance, by encouraging countries to take control of the fight against extremism themselves, President Trump is increasing the chances of a lasting peace. The US cannot fight this battle alone and it is important for individual States to realise the role they must play. President Trump was correct to address the “common values and shared interests” that the United States shares with its Saudi allies and others in the region. As I have witnessed first-hand, the countries of the Gulf, the United States and Israel have many mutual interests and concerns and remember there is an opportunity to build a positive relationship that benefits all parties.

The Jewish community has been the target of religious terrorism both in Israel and across the world. It is incredibly poignant that President Trump specified his desire to stand with the Jewish community in the fight against terrorism and his statement will help build bridges between the Jewish and Muslim community. As President Trump now makes his way to Israel, the American Jewish Congress hopes that he will be able to continue to create a positive atmosphere of dialogue which can lead to progress in the fight against Islamic State as well as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Jack Rosen, President, American Jewish Congress

Dr. Munr Kazmir, Vice President, American Jewish Congress

Dr. Ben Chouake, Secretary, American Jewish Congress

The President’s Trip Could Serve A Positive Purpose

05/22/2017 05:22 pm ET

Follow me on Twitter: @mk1157

President Trump’s current trip, one in which he will meet with leaders of all three major religions is both a necessary positive step in his presidency.

Regardless of how you feel about all the hoopla going on surrounding the Trump administration right now, the fact remains that the man IS president, and as such, he needs to continue to execute the duties of the office.

The world is a volatile place right now and doing everything possible to keep escalating tensions to a minimum is a positive for everybody.

Admittedly, the president got off to a rough start in Saudi Arabia, where I would have liked to have seen him buck the trend of kissing the Saudi ring, so to speak. We all know what the Saudi Arabian government has done in the past and continues to do now, and despite this, we hear next to nothing from our country’s most powerful lawmakers, let alone past presidents.

It was my hope that President Trump – who ran as a complete wild card that was not beholden to anybody – would lean on the Saudis a little bit about their human rights violations and maybe even try to convince them that they should use the vast land and resources they have to take in some refugees from the region. While he did not do this, it was merely his first visit with the Saudis, so perhaps he will be a little bolder as he goes along.

That said, it was important the president show that despite all the rhetoric and heated debate, he does not hate all Muslims and think they are evil. As President Trump himself said, getting the help of the Muslim world to help destroy the extremists is crucial in the battle against ISIS and Al Qaeda, and hopefully saying he is anti-extremist and not anti-Muslim is a good start.

The Pope and the president had their fair share of disagreements throughout the 2016 campaign, but again, it is important that the president show he can put that behind him and be a unifier. Many Catholics voted for the president and see the Pope as their spiritual leader, so president Trump being able to have a dialogue with the Pope would show a level of maturity that he sometimes seems to lack when it comes to those who criticize him.

Most importantly, though, it is crucial that the president make the most of this trip as a way to reaffirm our alliance to our #1 ally Israel, and reassure Prime Minister Netanyahu and the citizens of his nation that America has Israel’s back. Whatever your thoughts are on President Obama’s policy towards Israel, it is unquestionable that Prime Minister Netanyahu believed he was getting the cold shoulder from the United States over the past eight years, something that must end under President Trump.

Again, this trip isn’t going to heal the world and it isn’t going to make the issues surrounding the president go away. But it could serve a positive purpose and start a few worthwhile dialogues. If nothing else, given all of the other madness going on right now, we should all be happy for that.