ZOA gala touts Israel, cheers Trump; Dershowitz plea for moderation is booed


“Thank G-d we have Donald Trump,” Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein said to raucous cheers at the ZOA’s annual gala Sunday night in Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt.

Dr. Alan Mazurek, a ZOA officer from Rockville Centre, said Trump’s election was “divinely driven” and that “once again the United States will be blessed.”

The tone of the audience went from cheers to boos when Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a well-established supporter of Israel and Jewish causes — and an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter -— pointed out that Clinton won the popular vote.

Dershowitz, who was being honored by the ZOA, urged the organization to offer a big tent for all Zionists, “not just right-wing Zionists.”

He argued for moderation, cautioning against offering support to extremists of the left or right, including “the anti-Muslim and often biggoted extreme right that is pro-Jewish and pro-Zionist.”

“Being pro-Israel can never serve as an excuse for bigotry against any other group,” he said. “We must be as stalwart in condeming bigotry among our friends as we are in condemning bigotry among our enemies. and that applies to the right and to the left equally.”

“Israel and Jews historically have always thrived at the center,” Dershowitz said. “We have always suffered between the extremes of right and left, between the black of fascism and the red of communism.

“In the 1930s, too many Jews were seduced by communism, only to be stabbed in the back by Stalin and Trostsky. I’m a little worried today that there are Jews in many parts of the world that are being seduced by the hard right.”

When honoree Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of the Home Depot and a Trump supporter, mentioned the New York Times, the audience booed. Marcus said he was “one of the happiest people in the world to see some sense come into this White House.”

Several hundred protesters, organized by left-wing Jewish organizations, demonstrated outside the hotel on 42nd Street. They were drawn by reports that Stephen Bannon would attend the gala, but he was a no-show.

Photos courtesy ZOA