The Zionist Organization of America held its annual dinner in Manhattan on Sunday, hosting nearly 800 attendees — including six members of Congress — one of whom was Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
The evening’s honoree was controversial television personality Glenn Beck, who recently traveled to Israel with American Christian Zionists to a series of rallies in support of the Jewish state.
All the lawmakers in attendance were Republican, but ZOA national president Morton Klein noted that his organization is non-partisan and until his resignation, former Rep. Anthony Weiner also kept a consistent presence at ZOA events.
The keynote speaker was Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who spoke of her efforts to cut off federal funding for UNESCO, the United Nations agency that admitted Palestine as a full member earlier this month.
“UNESCO made an anti-Israel message, and we also have a message to them, not with our money,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen’s bill faces strong opposition from the White House, but she insists, “Any effort to walk back U.S. law would send the damaging message that the U.S. will keep paying for UN bodies no matter what they do.”
Ros-Lehtinen was not the only prominent Cuban-American who made Israel-related news this week. On his tour of Efrat, sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, Miami mayor Carlos Gimenez said that “settlement” is an inaccurate term to describe Jewish communities beyond the Green Line. “You think about the Old West, pioneers and all that,” Gimenez said in an interview with Jerusalem Post. “It is really more like a development, that is all it is.”
Ros-Lehtinen echoed Ginemez’s view of Jewish communities in the territories. Describing two of her longtime supporters who reside in Kedumim, she sarcastically described them as “an impediment to peace, because they live in the community of Kedumim.”
Turning to the subject of Iran, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen said she has authored a bill to punish foreign governments and companies dealing with that country.