President Donald Trump spoke at a gala dinner hosted by the Israel Heritage Foundation (IHF) on Monday night and demonstrated why a vote for Trump is a vote for Israel.
On Monday, July 10, the IHF honored the 45th president of the United States at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in Bedminster, New Jersey, and bestowed the Keter Yerushalayim Award upon him. The IHF, whose Honorary President is Jerry Wartski, was attended by about 150 people. It was organized by IHF Executive Vice President Dr. Joseph Frager, who has been a fearless and dedicated warrior for the Jewish State of Israel for almost 50 years, and Executive Director Rabbi David Katz, a distinguished communal activist in the Jewish community.
In his remarks, Dr. Frager underscored the mission of the IHF as advocating for Israel and those who support Israel. He stressed that the Israel Heritage Foundation strives to keep the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust alive, fights anti-Semitism, advocates for Israel, especially Judea and Samaria, and seeks sovereignty in Area C.
As candidates for the upcoming 2024 presidential elections line up, Rabbi Katz stressed the non-political nature of the IHF. “As a 501(c)(3) organization, which does not endorse candidates, the IHF honors President Trump with a sense of gratitude and recognizes what he has done for Israel and the Jewish people. This is a kiddush Hashem from beginning to end. I have tremendous hakaras ha’tov for President Trump.”
Rabbi Katz’s comments centered on the IHF’s goal for Jews on both sides of the ocean. “As Jews in America, we can worship in freedom and want Jews in Israel to do the same without fear of terrorism.”
President Trump asked Rabbi Katz for an impromptu prayer before beginning his speech. Rabbi Katz blessed the president and his family, thanking President Trump for being someone who “doesn’t care only for himself but for the entire world and especially for the people of Israel and the Jews of America.”
Among the guests at the private charity event were Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, Dr. Paul Alexander, Congressman Tim Burchett (R-TN), Congressman Josh Brecheen (R-OK), ZOA President Morton Klein, IHF Executive President Dr. Stephen Soloway, IHF Chairman Farley Weiss, IHF Vice President Stanley Sved, and IHF Executive Chairman Sam Nahmias.
Dr. Louis Topper, noted philanthropist from Florida who introduced President Trump, underscored the president’s resiliency. “I don’t think that anyone could withstand the coordinated efforts that are going on between mainstream media, the US government, elected officials, foreign countries, lawyers, and some of the judiciary attacking one man. I don’t think that person could last a week. But here we are, eight years into this mess, and the president isn’t [just] still here, but he’s leading in the polls.”
It was clear from the president’s entertaining and confident manner that he felt at home. He abandoned his prepared remarks for an unscripted, engaging address to an enthusiastic crowd. To standing ovations, he renumerated his accomplishments for Israel and maintained that he was “proud to be the best friend and, as they say, the best president that Israel has ever had.”
The president peppered the recounting of his Middle East achievements with personal anecdotes, from recognizing Jerusalem as the “eternal capital of Israel” and moving the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing the Golan Heights as part of the State of Israel, withdrawing from the Iran Deal, initiating the Abraham Accords, withdrawing from the Uniting Nations Human Rights Council, decimating ISIS, and taking out terrorist leaders Abu al-Baghdadi and Qasem Soleimani.
Praise for his administration’s thwarting of Iran was shaded by a lament for the Biden administration’s bungling approach towards the terrorist state. “Most important, I terminated the Iran Nuclear Deal. When I got out, they [Biden administration] allowed China to start buying oil. China is buying hundreds of thousands of barrels a day and spending money, and Iran has become very rich. Now they’re on their way to making a nuclear weapon, and nobody does anything about it.”
A recurrent theme of the president’s speech was his warnings against the increasingly hostile rejection of Israel by Congressional Democrats. “I grew up in a world where everything evolved politically around Israel. One bad word and you were virtually out of politics. Today, one good word and you are out of politics.”
Trump warned that “Israel is under siege politically. Today there is a revolution against Israel within Congress. The Senate is not what it used to be but at least it’s still there. But in Congress, between AOC plus three and these other lunatics, they hate Israel with a passion. They’ve convinced a lot of people that Israel is a bad place with bad people. Something has to be done. If this had been ten years ago, they would have been sanctioned. Even some Jewish congressmen. Schumer is not good for Israel.”
While he is currently leading in the primary polls, President Trump questioned why he only garnered around 27% of the Jewish vote in 2020. “Under our leadership, the alliance between the US and Israel had never been stronger…I should have been at 100%.”
He concluded his remarks by thanking his loyal supporters among Orthodox and chasidic Jews and offering words of advice and caution. “You’re my friends. What’s so important is that you have to be more proactive in Congress because you’re just not getting support. People who used to support you they go and hide, and people who weren’t supporting you much have become your enemy. The Orthodox and chasidic community supported me almost 100% of the vote. They love our country, but they love Israel. I want to thank you. Be very vigilant, because there are a lot of people who are looking at bad things for Israel.”
By Sara Lehmann