More than 800 gathered in New York to Honor Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and media personality Glenn Beck at the ZOA Annual Gala November 20. The evening recognized Ros-Lehtinen with the Dr. Irving & Cherna Moskowitz Award for Promoting Strong US-Israel Relations. A new category award, the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award was presented to its inaugural recipients, Glenn Beck.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), a national pro-Israel policy organization, promotes pro- Israel positions to elected officials, the media, and college and high school students. Through its public affairs program, Capitol Hill lobbying, and educational programs it “combats anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media, in textbooks, in schools and on college campuses.” As were its early leaders, including Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, it is “on the front lines of Jewish activism,” trending towards politically conservative, pro-Israel stands.
Addressing an enthusiastic audience by video, Prime Minister Netanyahu offered support and praise for the work of the Zionist Organization of America, and thanked the organizations for its work on behalf of Israel and expressed his appreciation of its strong pro-Israel policy. Netanyahu recognized the support of honorees Glenn Beck and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. He called them “long-time and strong friends of Israel.” Though they had not yet arrived, he praised Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, who later in the evening presented an award named in their honor to Glenn Beck.
Saying that the ZOA is in the “forefront of defending Jewish issues” and makes “a tremendously positive difference in Jewish affairs,” honoree Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called for “true, lasting security: for the State of Israel,” she emphasized the absolute connectivity between the security of the United States and that of Israel, saying “Israel’s enemies are also our enemies; the enemies of liberty, freedom, democracy and equality for all citizens.” “Recognizing me with this prestigious award humbles me and re energizes me to continue fighting the just battle of assuring that the democratic state of Israel has true, lasting security. Before peace can be attained with the Palestinians, Israel must be secure and its citizens must be free of the rocket attacks and terrorist carnage.”
Ros-Lehtinen decried the Obama Administration’s policies towards Israel and the “dangerous Palestinian scheme” of UDI – unilateral declaration of independence – broached at the UN, asking: “A Palestinian state? What is that, anyway?”
Congresswoman and Presidential Candidate Michele Bachmann, (R-MN) garnered several ovations with her pledge to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “on the day that I am sworn into office” and her assertion that “Israel will never be up for grabs – not one inch, not one acre, not one square foot will ever be on the chopping block.” Bachmann said “Israel needs a friend, but when it looks at the White House, it does not see one.”
“I stand with Israel. And aid to Israel now more than ever, is a necessity–they are our most trusted ally and the only real democracy in the Middle East. the president demands Israel give back land necessary to protect their existence, he has taken his eye off of the most serious threat to Middle East security, a nuclear Iran,” she said.
On Iran, Bachmann said that “once again millions of Jews are at the precipice of losing their lives,” and called for a complete naval blockade on Iran, for deployment of comprehensive ballistic missile systems “on land, sea, air and in space” and for the Pentagon to prepare “war plans” in order to counter Iran’s nuclear threat. The US Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State and CIA director must all support this “freedom policy,” said the Republican candidate for the presidential nomination. “Those in the bureaucracy who fail to do so – especially in the State Department” – should be replaced.
“The Palestinians must recognize Israel’s right to exist and renounce violence against Israel in order to become a serious partner in peace with Israel,” she concluded.
President of the ZOA, Morton Klein spoke with great passion, demanding that “the U. S. government, the Israeli government and Europe must begin to express their outrage at the PA forming an alliance with Hamas.” Klein noted that the Palestinian Authority consistently honors murderers and terrorists, naming public squares and honoring them as “martyrs.”
Saying all three legs of the Oslo agreement were broken, Mort Klein warned that the Palestinians Arabs never wanted peace, rather, its officials “are saying Israel must disappear,” and said the “power of words” must be recognized. It is, he said “high time for public officials to start telling the whole truth about the Palestinian Authority, that the goal is the destruction of every Israeli. It is time to go on the offensive and stop with the defensive nonsense.” Klein, described and acknowledged the support of the Christian community and its representatives in the audience and noted that current accusations against Jews were the worst since the time of the Crucifixion.
The Adelson’s introduced keynote speaker and honoree Glenn Beck noting that he was “a Christian Zionist like none other – a man of great courage and conviction who understands the difference between good and evil – a fighter of evil who inspires the rest of us to remains strong.”
Throughout his speech, Beck followed the theme of good versus evil and the strength of God’s influence dominated. “We live in an historic time…if your chips are not on the table put them on the table now” demanding that each person must “proclaim your name to all for history.” “The Jewish people have a right to exist and Israel has a right to exist.”
Warning against the repetition of history, Beck said “If you fail to teach and fail to apply what you learn, evil will grow again – it is an insidious plant that grows in darkness.” “I come as a brother,” he assured. “The world does not hate you; the enemy of God hates you. Evil hates you…the truth has power the truth has the power of God.” Beck compared Occupy Wall Street protesters and liberals to Hitler’s Brownshirts. Said Beck, “many times you cannot tell the difference any more between peace activists and the terrorists and fascists they claim to stand against.” America, said Beck “will either perish or lead the world to sanity again.”
Beck promised a special announcement December 8. “I do not ask you to join me; I ask if I can join you. Together we can remember and succeed…you have changed my life with the opportunity,” said Beck, He concluded that this “award should be a reminder of what I most do,” and asked for a “prayer that each of us find ability to grasp the hand of each other.”