November 20, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Letter Showing Major Jewish Leaders Supporting Bannon as Friend of Jews and Israel

It was completely wrong for Bret Stephens to criticize Steve Bannon’s appearance at the Zionist Organization of America’s (ZOA) gala and to defame Bannon as an “anti-Semitic Zionist . . . who embraces anti Semites.”  (“Steve Bannon is Bad for the Jews,” Stephens, 11/16/17.)  I am a child of Holocaust survivors; the Nazis murdered most of my family.  I despise neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, and racists.  Neither I nor other ZOA gala speakers (Alan Dershowitz, Senator Joe Lieberman, US Ambassador David Friedman, etc.) would have shared a dais and happily taken pictures with Bannon, if he were anti- Semitic.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer called me, while Bannon was dining at his house, saying: “I can tell you as an insider, Bannon is a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people.” Dershowitz defended Bannon, noting that there isn’t any evidence of anti-Semitism.  Talk-show host Dennis Prager, who authored books about anti-Semitism, said: “Calling Steve Bannon an anti-Semite is a witch hunt. . . . It’s just a libel.  It’s fabricated.”  The liberal Anti-Defamation League wrote: “we’re not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.” 

On “60 Minutes,” Bannon declared: “neo-Nazis and neo-Confederates and the Klan are absolutely awful, there is no room in American politics or American society for that.”  Bannon also wrote he has “zero tolerance” for anti-Semitism.  Further, Bannon clarified that when he stated Breitbart is the “platform for the Alt-right,” he merely meant “the anti-establishment.”

Bannon’s Breitbart site exposes campus anti-Semitism.  Bannon even had his reporters call college officials to ask what they are going to do about this.  Bannon’s website also wrote about the pain suffered by a Jewish student upon finding a swastika scrawled on her dorm-room door.

No wonder the huge mostly Jewish crowd at the ZOA Gala gave Steve Bannon a standing ovation.

 

Morton A. Klein

National President, Zionist Organization of America