The Zionist Organization of America’s annual awards gala gave Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon three standing ovations Sunday after the former White House chief strategist delivered a fiery speech praising President Donald Trump’s leadership in the Middle East and calling on America’s Jewish community “to bind together and work as partners” in his war against the GOP establishment.
“As the storm clouds are rising in the Middle East … we’re leading an insurgency movement against the Republican establishment and against the permanent political class in Washington, D.C.,” Bannon told the crowd.
“There are so many games being played by the establishment … You get double dealt all the time,” Bannon said. “That’s how you get the Iran Deal. And that’s how we still allow the American government to finance people that have blood on their hands of innocent Jewish civilians.”
“It is time for us to act,” Bannon said, addressing the Jewish community and other American supporters of Israel, “and I believe the only way to act is not through moderation. I am not a moderate, I’m a fighter. And that’s why I’m proud to stand with the state of Israel. That’s why I’m proud to be a Christian Zionist. That is why I’m proud to be a partner of one of the greatest nations on earth and the foundation of the Judeo-Christian West.”
Calling Trump “the strongest supporter of Israel, since Ronald Reagan,” Bannon recalled President Trump’s inauguration speech:
“On the 20th of January, 2017 … President Trump said we will reinforce old alliances and form new ones to unite the civilized world against radical terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.”
“President Trump knew that 100 years from now that speech… will be looked at and studied. And look what he did, in the first 9 or 10 months of his administration, he destroyed the physical caliphate of ISIS.”
“In 2014, ISIS had 8 million people under their reign,” Bannon added. “It was one of the largest, most productive countries in the Middle East and, in the first nine months of President Trump’s administration, it’s eradicated.”
“People forget that the ‘opposition party’… the geniuses on Morning Joe, every morning will tell ya ‘oh, you know, President Trump is just following through on Barack Obama’s plan.’ — Yea? I don’t remember ISIS being eradicated on [Obama’s] watch,” Bannon declared, to many in the crowd’s great approval.
Bannon also praised Trump for calling together the “Arab and Muslim Summit” in May to talk about stopping the expansion of Iran and “to talk about how we are going to stop the games that everybody is playing on financing radical Islamic terrorism in the West — in Europe and in the United States.”
“Finally,” Bannon said, “someone took a stand.”
But, Bannon predicted, “We have a long, dark valley to go through, folks. Iran, Turkey, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood. The Middle East right now is on a knife’s edge. It’s going to take strong leadership.”
“As the radical left tries to nullify … the 2016 election,” Bannon went on, Trump is under pressure in Washington. “President Trump needs our back because we’re a nation at war, and this war is only going to be won if we bind together and work as partners.”
“I’m proud to be a Christian Zionist,” Bannon repeated, concluding his speech, and eliciting a standing ovation from the gala crowd.
Joining Bannon on the speakers’ list were a who’s who of American Zionists, including law professor Alan Dershowitz, Trump-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and Sen. Tom Cotton (D-AR) — a group ZOA President Morton Klein called “arguably the strongest group of public Zionists in America.”
Other former Trump administration officials were in attendance, including Sebastian Gorka and Sean Spicer.
While originally slated to speak, Republican megadonor and ardent Zionist Sheldon Adelson was unable to attend. Bannon lauded Adelson though, saying 2016’s “victory would not have come without one other person besides Donald Trump: Sheldon Adelson.”
“It is not about resources, it’s about counsel, guidance, and wisdom,” Bannon said. “You gotta remember, folks, we were down by double digits almost the entire time. When we closed the gap and finally got within shouting distance, Billy Bush weekend happened. And you know what most of the establishment Republicans do when things get tough: they cut and they run.”
“Sheldon Adelson didn’t cut and run. Sheldon Adelson had Donald Trump’s back. Sheldon Adelson offered guidance, and counsel, and wisdom of how to get through it. He was there for Donald Trump about how to comport oneself and how to dig down deep. And it was his guidance and his wisdom that helped get us through.”
Following Bannon’s speech, Klein took the stage, saying “All over the internet, there are people calling me an unhinged bigot who is promoting [and] mainstreaming Nazism because we proudly brought Steve Bannon to the Zionist Organization of America,” referencing the false accusations that Bannon is anti-Semitic.
“If Steve Bannon was an anti-Semite or racist, ZOA would be at his throat, not giving him a podium to speak,” Klein said previously, ahead of Sunday night’s gala.
Amanda House is Breitbart News’ Deputy Political Editor. You can follow her on Twitter at @AmandaLeeHouse.