The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) hopes that everyone – especially every American Jew – will take a few minutes to listen to and send to your friends last week’s phenomenal speech by the Jerusalem Post’s brilliant and most popular columnist, Caroline Glick. A video of Ms. Glick’s speech at the Jerusalem Post Conference can be viewed here or here. For our readers’ convenience, and because Ms. Glick’s message is so important, ZOA has also transcribed Ms. Glick’s speech below.
Ms. Glick explains that is vital for the American Jewish community’s future for us to stand with and defend our true friends, such as Congresswoman Grace Meng and White House official Dr. Sebastian Gorka. We cannot be silent when true friends of Israel and the Jewish people are slandered. It is deplorable and demoralizing that elements of the Jewish community (such as The Forward newspaper) are slandering friends such as Dr. Gorka – in the name of countering anti-Semitism, no less!
We must also confront our enemies, such as anti-Semite Linda Sarsour. Sarsour supports Hamas, the anti-Israel intifada and the anti-Israel BDS movement which denies free speech to supporters of Israel on college campuses and elsewhere. Sarsour tweeted encouragement to Palestinian Arabs to throw rocks at Jews; denies the right of anyone who supports Israel to call herself a feminist; and says that there is nothing creepier than Zionism.
It is distressing that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have been silent about Ms. Sarsour.
The ZOA is honored that during her speech, Ms. Glick praised ZOA and ZOA President Morton Klein three times for being a lone diplomatic voice defending our friends such as Dr. Gorka, and for “raising holy hell” about honors bestowed on anti-Semite Linda Sarsour. We were also honored by the crowd’s applause when Ms. Glick mentioned ZOA and Mr. Klein.
Like Ms. Glick, ZOA urges all in the American Jewish community to join us in standing up for our friends and confronting our enemies.
(For some of ZOA’s recent efforts on these matters, see, e.g.: “ZOA: FORWARD’S Campaign Calling Trump Aide Gorka Anti-Semitic is a Lie – Gorka is Friend of Jews/Israel,” Mar. 17, 2017; “ZOA: The Forward Smears WH Aide Gorka with Spliced Video and Falsehoods,” Apr. 4, 2017; “Exclusive: ZOA’s Morton Klein: ‘Sebastian Gorka Is a Great Friend of Israel’,” by Adelle Nazarian, Breitbart, Mar. 21, 2017; “ZOA to Sen. Gillibrand: Cancel Bigoted CUNY Commencement Speaker Sarsour,” Apr. 26, 2017; “JTA: ZOA/Others Urge Cancelling CUNY Honoring Anti-Israel Bigot Sarsour,” Apr. 27, 2017; “Why Are ADL And AJC Silent On CUNY Honoring Israel-Hating Linda Sarsour?,” May 1, 2017; “ZOA to CUNY Chancellor Milliken: Withdraw Invitation to Pro-Terror Sarsour,” May 4, 2017; “NYC Dem, Pro-Israel Activist Battle Over Linda Sarsour Speech,” (Morton Klein on Martha MacCallum show) Fox News, May 1, 2017.)
Transcript of Carolyn Glick’s Speech at the Jerusalem Post Conference on May 7, 2017
Thank you all for coming and thank you all for staying till the end of this conference. I think from year to year we go from strength to strength. I don’t know about you, but I just thought that the days’ remarks by everybody have just been extraordinary. It’s been enlightening for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I.
And I don’t want to belabor how wonderful it is, but I think one of the things that really is inspiring about the conference that we had today is that it shows just how extraordinary Israel is. What a strong and vibrant and really miraculous country it is, 69 years after its founding, which came of course three years after May 7, 1945, when Germany surrendered to the Allies. So we really see what happened to the Jewish people in Israel and how extraordinary the accomplishments of all the people who have built this country and continue to build this country today really are, and have been, and how important they are not only for the Jewish people but really for the entire world.
Rather than talking about how great everything is, I want to turn my attention, as is my wont, to things that aren’t doing as well.
Consider it to be my position, my job, to challenge my readers, to challenge you, to challenge the Jewish people and our allies, to do better. We can do more. One of ways that we could do more, for instance, would be to have Grace Meng elected the Chairwoman of the DNC. [audience cheers and applauds] Really what’s so extraordinary about her is what an extraordinary friend she is to the Jewish people here in New York City, and to the Jewish people in the United States and in Israel. And we have to admire her for that. And we have to stand with her for that.
Just as we have to stand with all of our friends here in the United States and around the world. And we have to challenge and confront and oppose our enemies here in the United States and throughout the world. And I fear that today in the Jewish community in the United States, there is an alarming unwillingness to do both of those things.
Just to focus my remarks for a second, I’m going to be talking about two people in particular. One is a woman named Linda Sarsour [audience boos] and the other one is a gentleman that you met this morning named Sebastian Gorka. [audience applauds] In their twin stories, we really do see the central challenge that’s facing specifically the American Jewish community today. I would be irresponsible if I let this conference go without mentioning this very central challenge to the vibrancy and well-being in many ways of this community and the freedom of this community that I grew up in, and that my family are members of.
One of the previous speakers mentioned that Zambish had said, one of the veterans of the Six Day War, one of the liberators of Jerusalem, said that “We weren’t responding to the Jordan Legion. We were responding in 1967 to Titus.”
One of the things that we don’t know, and I only just learned and I was shocked to find out is that General Titus’s Chief of Staff of Titus was an apostate Jew. His father was the Chief Rabbi in Alexandria. I forgot his name. I think it is important to recognize that sometimes we do see Jews playing, or Jews by birth playing very destructive roles for the Jewish community. We saw it throughout the Middle Ages, certainly in Europe.
Today we have a situation in the Democratic Party, where, to the side of extraordinary friends of the Jewish people like Congresswoman Grace Meng, we have a rising star by the name of Linda Sansour. Linda Sarsour was extolled by President Obama as a “change maker,” I think he called her. She was listed as one of the most influential people by Time Magazine last year. She was the head of the women’s march, that opposed President Trump the day after his inauguration. Not to put too fine a point on it, but she’s an anti-Semite. [audience applauds and cheers.]
Linda Sarsour has said that there is nothing creepier than Zionism. She has said that Zionist women cannot be feminists. She’s a major supporter of BDS [anti-Israel, anti-Semitic boycotts, divestment and sanctions]. She supports Hamas. She’s tweeted in favor of Palestinians stoning Israeli cars. And she’s going to actually be a commencement speaker at CUNY on June 1st. [audience boos]
So, when my colleague and friend Mort Klein from the ZOA [audience applauds] – that’s right – began to raise holy hell over the fact that she was just bestowed this honor, just as others had, including Mort Klein, raised holy hell about the fact that she was one of the principle organizers of the march of woman on January 21st in Washington DC, we found that the hierarchy of the Democratic Party circled wagons and is backing her. To the point that the Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party here in New York City by the name of Michael Blake, tweeted a post a couple of weeks ago saying that nobody should be challenging Linda Sarsour and that the Democratic Party has to stand by her. She was a super-delegate at the Democratic convention over the summer.
The distressing thing to me is that, while two Congressmen have called on CUNY to disinvite Linda Sarsour from speaking at the commencement of CUNY’s School of Public Health, the vast majority of the Jewish organizations that are headquartered in this country, in this city, have not. The Anti-Defamation League [ADL] has been silent on it. The American Jewish Committee [AJC] has been silent on it.
And this is very disturbing to me. Because it’s not a question of just not wanting to be part of something. You see here a woman who really is a bigot towards Jews, toward Jewish Americans. Who supports BDS, which really is about making it impossible for Jewish Americans on college campuses and other places to freely express their support for Israel and their identification with Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement. She’s being upheld. She’s being honored. She’s being extolled as a role model for graduates of CUNY’s Graduate School of Public Health because she’s going to be speaking at their commencement ceremony. This is something that simply should be fought. Because if she is allowed to rise, without a massive outcry from the Jewish community about the direction that things are going in the Democratic party, we can’t be surprised that she and others like her will continue to be empowered in that party.
It’s the job of the Jewish-American community to stand up for itself, to stand up for its freedoms. [audience applauds.] And to speak truth to the institutions that they’re most identified with, including the Democratic Party. And say: “This is our home as Americans. And we’re not at home in a party that empowers anti-Semites like Linda Sarsour.”
So it’s not a question of simply not wanting to be involved. It’s a question of complicity with the rise of forces that are bigoted towards the American Jewish community. I truly believe that this is something that just isn’t right. And has to be changed very quickly.
On the other hand, we have Dr. Gorka, who, aside from the fact that I am honored and privileged to number him among my personal friends, is a true friend of the Jewish community in the United States and a true friend of Israel in the White House. He’s an advocate for a strong US-Israel alliance in the halls of power where he sits. Throughout his career, he has been an outspoken supporter of Israel, and defender of Israel, against all takers.
And yet, he right now is the focus of a very deliberate and slanderous campaign to castigate him as a Nazi. And the worst thing about this horrible slanderous campaign against this very good and honorable man and true friend of the Jewish people, is that it’s being conducted by American Jews, in the name of fighting anti-Semitism. I find this deeply distressing. I find it deeply distressing.
The other day I went onto the Forward’s web page. I think they [The Forward] have published something like 39 articles against him [Dr. Gorka] in the past several weeks. [audience boos] They [The Forward] is raising money on their campaign against him, saying: “The New Yorker says that The Forward is leading the campaign against Sebastian Gorka. Please send ten dollars.”
This is simply an outrage. It’s simply an outrage. And it’s lashon hara [evil speech, forbidden by the Jewish law]. It’s an embarrassment. It’s demoralizing. It’s demoralizing to Israel’s friends, of whom Israel has millions and millions, and the Jewish community has millions and millions, tens of millions in the United States who support Israel. Who support and want to protect Jewish freedom in this country. Who support a strong American-Israel alliance. And who want to ensure that both countries are safe and prosperous for the long haul.[It’s demoralizing to our friends] when you see that prestigious distinguished members of the Jewish community have taken it upon themselves to demonize one of Israel’s best friends in Washington today.
And again here, my friend and colleague Mort Klein is one of the leading and lone members of the public diplomacy, of the public world in the United States defending him [Dr. Gorka].
You had 51 members demanding to be fired, for nothing. For lies.
This is something that again challenges the Jewish community. It says to the Jews of the United States: “Where are your voices? Stand up for your friend. Stand up for our friend. Don’t allow people slander a good and honorable man, as a Nazi.” [audience applauds]
It’s important to understand that this is a precarious situation. You guys know. You live here in New York City. There is a tremendous amount of rage in this country. There is a great division in this country, about a lot of things.
The Trump presidency is a gift, I believe, to the American people. [audience applauds] It’s certainly a gift to Israel. [audience applauds.] But whatever you may think of Donald Trump’s presidency, whether you like it or don’t like it, you understand that he was elected president of the United States. And he has the right and the duty to lead this country for the next four years. And for the benefit of the United States of America, all Americans of good will should hope that he succeeds in that mission.
One of the ways that we have to work to ensure that he is successful both for the betterment of Israel and for the entire free world, is to ensure that the Jewish community is able to get it right. Is able to understand that while it’s true that the vast majority of the Jewish community in the United States is not supportive of the Republican Party or the Republican president sitting in the White House, they have to stand by truth. They cannot castigate people and demonize people who are true friends of the Jewish people. They cannot be silent when other people are doing that. They cannot simply say: “Well, you know, maybe there’s something to it.”
They have to check it out, like Rabbi Billet of Young Israel of the Five Towns did, when he wrote an article over the weekend before Shabbat, published in Algemeiner, where he set out, chapter and verse, all the lies that are at the heart sole and details of the slander of Sebastian Gorka.
You have to be able to look into something and say: “How can our community be involved with the slander of this man? It’s a horrible thing. It’s a horrible thing.”
And how is it possible that Linda Sarsour is given legitimacy by the second largest party in this two-party country as a champion of human rights and a champion of women’s rights – when she denies the Jewish people our human rights? And our civil rights. When through the BDS movement she wants to silence the voices, and deny freedom of speech and expression to Jewish Americans on college campuses throughout this country. When she would want to deny Jewish women the right to call themselves feminists because they support Israel.
We have a lot celebrate today. We have a lot to celebrate as Jews, and you saw so many of the reasons for it today throughout this conference. There are enormous reasons and sources for optimism, going forward, tomorrow, next week, next month, and into the years to come, and as we look forward to the future of our children and our grandchildren.
But in order to ensure that the promise that we see today in so many different spheres that we heard so much about throughout this really thrilling conference, we have to ensure that we get the basics right. And the basics are this: You have to stand with your friends. And you have to oppose your enemies. Because then people will want to be your friends. And they won’t want to be your enemies.
There are enough people out there who are enemies of the Jewish people and who are enemies of the United States. We have to be able to stand united, as the Jewish people. The Jewish community of the United States, and the Jewish people in Israel – the largest Jewish community in the world today, and say: “We stand for freedom, not only for others, but also for ourselves. And that means that we are going to stand with people who defend that freedom, and we’re going to oppose those that don’t.”
These are the basic things that we need to do on a daily basis, to ensure that all the extraordinary things that are happening in the world today, in the Jewish world today, are able to live out their potential. And we can continue to celebrate our luck in being Jews today and into the future. [audience applauds]
Thank you. [audience applauds] Thank you very much. And thank you for coming. [applause continues.]