The non-Jewish celebrities got more acclaim than the Jewish personalities from the 1,000 guests at the Zionist Organization of America’s superstar gala on Nov. 17 at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
There was Fox News commentator and former Westchester judge, Jeanine Pirro, signing her latest book for the hordes who approached for a free copy of “Radicals, Resistance and Revenge,” a robust defense of Donald Trump and his administration.
“Isn’t it great to have a president who does what he says he’ll do — destroy the caliphate, revise the Iran nuclear agreement, and move the embassy to Jerusalem,” Pirro declared as she accepted the Mortimer Zuckerman Award from ZOA chairman Mark Levenson.
Pirro added, “It all comes down to what Elie Wiesel said: If history has taught us anything, we should believe the threats of our enemies rather than the promises of our friends.”
As a Lebanese American, Pirro said she was proud that her parents, Esther and Nasser Ferris, “had assisted those who wanted to go to Israel. It is etched in my DNA.”
Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, mentioned the 400 missiles from Gaza that recently targeted Israel. “We see the same threat emanating from Syria. All this can be traced back to Iran. That’s why Israel will never allow Iran to have nuclear weapons.”
The ambassador spotted Ingeborg and Ira Rennert in the audience and called them out: “Ira and Inge, we can see your generosity all over Israel.”
Rita Cosby, a special correspondent for “Inside Edition” on CBS who served as emcee at the dinner, paid tribute to her father Ryszard Kossobudzki. She said he grew up near the Warsaw Ghetto and tried to help Jewish fighters inside and outside. After the war her father, now Richard Cosby, came to the U.S. where Rita was born in Brooklyn and raised in Greenwich, Conn.
ZOA president Morton Klein presented the Dr. Bob Shillman Award to Florida Gov. Ronald DeSantis. When he was in Israel last May, DeSantis said, he left a note at the Western Wall. He prayed that there’d be no hurricane in his state. As it happened, in September Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas but made a 90-degree turn and missed Florida. “I’ll have to go back to the Wall next May,” the governor quipped.