The enemy is not Islam. Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, wants to be clear that we recognize the enemy as “militant Islam.”
The keynote speaker at the Louis Brandeis award dinner of the Zionist Organization of America on Nov. 22 at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan, Dermer warned that Muslim terrorist groups are fighting to create a world without Israel and America, where “women are chattel, gays are hanged and minorities are eliminated.”
The solution, he said, calls for a reformation within Islam, away from militancy. “Faiths tend to be malleable. They get interpreted in different ways at different times. For most of the last 1,400 years, Islam was more tolerant to minorities than Christianity.”
ZOA president Morton Klein argued that military action can indeed defeat the idea of militant Islam.
Danny Danon insisted his appointment as Israel’s new representative to the United Nations is much harder than Dermer’s assignment in Washington. “I have been here only six weeks and it feels like six years.”
He denounced the UN for its tendency to draw equivalences between the Israeli and the Palestinian situation.
As for placing international observers on the Temple Mount to prevent clashes, Danon said, “We will not permit an international presence on Har Habayit in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”
He said the current surge of Palestinian Arab terrorism will not succeed. “We overcame suicide bombers, plane hijackings, rocket attacks — we’ll overcome stabbings.”
Some 1,100 dinner guests, including 219 college students, applauded as Jon Voight received the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Defender of Israel Award. Adelson, a Las Vegas casino billionaire and stalwart Republican Party supporter, called the actor “a giant among righteous gentiles.”
“The many concessions Israel made under Oslo as well as the Gaza withdrawal,” Voight said, “were some of the biggest mistakes Israel has made and it will be no mystery what will happen if they go ahead and give up Judea and Samaria.”
A video was screened showing ZOA board member Ruben Margules, of Brooklyn, leading a group of volunteers to give out gifts and food packages at an IDF army base.
Tim Boxer was a columnist at the New York Post for two decades. At the same time he has been a columnist for The New York Jewish Week for 35 years, and editor of 15MinutesMagazine.com for 16 years. He is the author of Jewish Celebrity Hall of Fame, interviews of Hollywood stars about their Jewish roots.