Steve Bannon to Attend ZOA Annual Gala in NY

Steve Bannon, the newly-appointed chief strategist and senior advisor to President-elect Donald Trump, is expected to attend the Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner in Manhattan on Sunday, in what is seen as an attempt to change the perception about him over his views and past comments about Jews.

ZOA President Mort Klein told Jewish Insider that Bannon was offered to speak at the dinner but no arrangements have been made at this point. “I think Bannon was grateful that I defended him against this ludicrous charge of anti-Semitism,” Klein said. “That’s why he is coming, I guess.”

Top Jewish-American leaders and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, criticized Bannon’s appointment, calling him “hostile to core American values” for condoning anti-Semitism as the editor of the controversial website Breitbart.com.

In a statement released on Monday, the ZOA said it was painful to see ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt “engaging in character assassination against President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon.” Klein said that ZOA’s own experience and analysis of Breitbart articles, confirms Bannon’s “friendship and fair-mindedness towards Israel and the Jewish people.”

The Louis Brandeis award dinner will take place at the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. Honorees at the dinner include Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Ambassador Danny Danon, Prof. Alan Dershowitz, Rep. Ed Royce, and Mort Zuckerman. Trump’s Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, are also expected to attend, according to Klein.

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