NEW YORK   -    US President Donald Trump used a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday to highlight his policies benefiting Israel while targeting the opposition Democratic Party as one rooted in anti-Semitism.

Trump started his nearly hour-long speech in Las Vegas thanking lawmakers and public officials in the room, then joked, “Special thanks to (Congresswoman Ilhan Omar) of Minnesota,” a mention of the newly-elected Democrat, a Muslim, who sparked controversy for criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and Israeli lobbying efforts.

“Oh, I forgot. She doesn’t like Israel,” Trump said sarcastically as the crowd booed. “I forgot. I’m so sorry.” The president’s joke about Ms Ilhan Omar came just one day after a New York man was arrested on federal charges of threatening to kill her and accusing her of being a terrorist, according to media reports.

“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s an (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull,” Patrick Carlineo, 55, is accused of saying to a member of Ms Omar’s staff after calling her office last week.

Throughout Trump’s speech, he touched on his administration moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which was denounced by the international community as violation of the United Nations resolutions and international law, stopping illegal immigration, halting the Iran nuclear deal and his claim of working to restore peace in the Middle East.

“I would like to see peace in the Middle East,” the president said. He added, “If those three can’t do it, you’ll never have it done,” referring to White House advisers Jared Kushner, who is also his son-in-law, Jason Greenblatt, a former Trump Organization employee and adviser on Israel, and David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel.

Trump also took credit for eliminating hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians and for pulling the US out of several UN organizations, the UN Human Rights Council and UNESCO, citing what he called anti-Israel bias in their agendas.

He attacked Democrats, painting them as “anti-Israel” and pointing to the controversy surrounding Omar, whose comments spurred a resolution in the House denouncing hate and anti-Semitism.

“Democrats have even allowed the terrible scourge of anti-Semitism to take root in their party and in their country. They have allowed that,” the president said. “Republicans believe that we must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism.”