Earlier this month on Aug 7, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon handed in his resignation. The following week he left the White House on a Friday afternoon for the last time. Later that day he was back working at Breitbart News as its leader.
In his first appearance after leaving his post with Trump, Bannon is slated speak at a Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) dinner in November this year.
Back in May, the pro-Israel organization’s CEO, Mort Klein, attacked National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as being anti-Israel and called on President Trump to fire the administration’s designated point person on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Colonel Kris Bauman, labeling him a supporter of the terrorist group, Hamas.
“The ZOA has asked General McMaster, Director of the National Security Council, to reconsider his appointment [of] new National Security Council advisor on Israel-Palestinian matters, pro-Hamas Kris Bauman,” Klein said in a lengthy statement. “This administration should be ‘cleaning out the swamp’ from proponents, architects, and protégés of the Obama administration’s dangerous Middle East policies. Mr. Bauman’s ideas are particularly dangerous.”
Republican “megadonor” Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of the ZOA, echoed Klein’s broader sentiments earlier this month, stating, “Now that I have talked to somebody with personal experience with McMaster, I support your efforts.”
Bannon will be speaking at the November 12 ZOA dinner event in New York City and may be introducing Adelson, as well, but Klein would not confirm that rumor, telling the Atlantic, “All I can tell you is Steve Bannon is going to be at the dinner.”
According to Breitbart News, ZOA’s external political and policy adviser, Arthur Schwartz, praised Bannon for reaching out to his organization immediately after President Trump won the election to arrange meetings and discussions in an effort to obtain ZOA’s opinions and fears regarding the Middle East peace process and the safety and security of Israel.
“ZOA has known no better friend—in any White House—to the Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel than Steve Bannon,” said Schwartz. “His bona fides on Israel could not be stronger. Steve has even lectured me for not doing enough to battle anti-Semitism on college campuses, and that was before he even worked with President Trump.”
ZOA has been one of the lynchpin organizations in the pro-Israel community during the Trump administration. As the longest-existing pro-Israel group in the United States of America, ZOA has rallied to the defense of senior Trump aides like Bannon and Dr. Sebastian Gorka—both of whom have resigned in recent weeks—when they have faced false attacks from the media and institutional left. Many in the political class in Washington have inaccurately claimed that Bannon and Gorka are anti-Semitic, when they are not, and ZOA has emerged as a leading group defending them on this front, noted the Breitbart report.
ZOA has been leading the charge in exposing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s troubling pro-Hamas viewpoints when it comes to the Middle East region and battling radical Islamic terrorism. Klein put together a memorandum exposing McMaster for his troubling actions in the national security adviser role, published exclusively by Breitbart News earlier in August.
ZOA’s August 2017 report detailed McMaster’s troubling record regarding Iran, Israel and radical Islamist terrorism. McMaster’s statements and actions appear to be diametrically opposed to President Trump’s support for Israel, opposition to the Iran nuclear deal and determination to name and combat radical Islamist terrorism, it says.
Critics of ZOA’s report have failed to show that ZOA’s report was wrong in any substantive respect, according to The Algemeiner. The pro-Israel new outlets stated on Sunday that criticisms have amounted to nothing more than name-calling against ZOA, and basically consists of McMaster’s friends vouching for his character — which they pointed out “is irrelevant to the vital policy issues addressed in ZOA’s report.”
The Algemeiner goes on to say that “McMaster reportedly wrongly refers to the existence of a Palestinian state before 1947 — when no Palestinian state ever existed, and maligns Israel as an ‘illegitimate,’ ‘occupying power.’ In fact, Israel’s re-establishment in 1948 and her self-defensive capture of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) in 1967 were both legal under binding international law, and deprived no country of its sovereign territory.”
The ZOA blames McMaster for Bannon’s ouster from the White House, noting that in his short tenure at the National Security Council (NSC), the general has also fired or removed from the NSC five other staunchly pro-Israel/anti-Iran officials in addition to Bannon: K.T. McFarland; Adam Lovinger; Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey and Ezra Cohen-Watnick.
As PJ Media New York editor David Steinberg wrote: “One is hard-pressed to identify a member of the NSC brought in by McMaster with a history of aligning with President Trump on Iran or with his Mideast policy in general.”
Gorka will be attending the November dinner along with Bannon, and Breitbart News will be reporting live from the event.