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Group tied to ex-Israeli ambassador held a ‘Truth About Israel’ gala at Mar-a-Lago as a ‘thank you’ to Trump

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After President Donald Trump apparently praised a group of white nationalists in Charlottesville last year, describing “some very fine people on both sides,” at last 20 groups cancelled events at Mar-a-Lago in protest. But South Florida communications executive Steven Alembik stood with the president amid the controversy.

“I wanted to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President, for being a supporter of the state of Israel, our only ally in the Mideast,’” reported Newsmax last year. Alembik then moved his The Truth About Israel Gala reservation from a nearby venue to the president’s Palm Beach club.

The date was made available after the U.S. arm of an Israeli charity, the American Friends of Magen David Adom, canceled a fundraiser following Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. 

Proceed’s from Alembik’s dinner went to a pro-Israel charity of the same name founded by Israel’s former Ambassador to the U.S., Danny Ayalon. The organization produces web shorts in English and in Spanish to “promote Israel abroad and improve her standing in the international community.”

The most recent video released by the group was posted online last week. It stars Ayalon and accuses the Palestinian leadership of running an “apartheid” government that disenfranchises Jews.

Co-sponsors for the gala included the National Committee of Asian-American Republicans and the Palm Beach chapter of Asian GOP. A few Republican lawmakers were in attendance. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) and Brian Mast (R-FL) were listed on the event’s website as “special guests.”

The former warm up act on Trump’s campaign, YouTube commentators Diamond and Silk appeared on stage. The headliner was performance artist Michael Israel who painted live oversized portraits of Trump and the first lady to the tune of Lee Greenwood’s Grammy award-winning song “God Bless the U.S.A.”

Individual tickets for the dinner cost $750 and a table for 10 sold for $75,000 along with “the opportunity for your table Captain speak for 5 minutes on one of the important issues” including Iran, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the BDS movement, anti-Semitism, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, and the peace process.

Alembik estimated around 700 would attend. The Washington Post has reported renting out Mar-a-Lago can run up to $275,000.

Trump was not at Mar-a-Lago during the event.

A website for the gala noted of the event’s mission, “Israel has been under attack for centuries. Anti-Semitism – ignorance – hate, permeate the landscape – radical Islamic fundamentalists want all of us to perish from the Earth,” stating, “it is time to celebrate Israel – it is time to stand for something, or fall for anything.”

“[R]adical Islamic fundamentalists want all of us to perish from Earth, Alembik said in a statement, “this is the right time to CELEBRATE who and what we are. This is time to stand for something – or you’ll fall for anything.”

A press release for the event lists U.S. government agencies as among Alembik’s notable clients, including contracts for “United States Voter Files, US Veterans by Branch of Service, Active Military Personnel and US Donor Files.”

A second pro-Israel event will be held at Mar-a-Lago next month hosted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. The group’s head Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein told David Fahrenthold, If there is a possibility … that the president might also come to say hello and offer greetings, then that’s an advantage. So I think that was kind of what determined it.”

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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6 Responses

  1. pabelmont on February 26, 2018, 9:13 pm

    Wonderful, just wonderful. Gala dinners are such fun for the participants. Wonder if the tickets are tax-deductable. Just askin’ ;-)

  2. RoHa on February 27, 2018, 1:57 am

    “the state of Israel, our only ally in the Mideast,”

    Perhaps NATO founder-member Turkey no longer counts as an ally. And the US bases in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Bahrain can be ignored. And let’s forget that Syria and Saudi Arabia were US allies against Iraq in 1990/91.

    And let’s pretend that Sheehan didn’t say “Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that before Israel , we had no enemies in the Middle East .”

    Let’s just count the number of times this ally has sent troops to support US troops in war.

    • Misterioso on February 27, 2018, 10:53 am


      Well said!!

      Israel is America’s number one geopolitical liability, an increasingly heavy millstone around its neck, a useless “ally” that costs US taxpayers about $12 million per day (not including tax deductible contributions from individuals and organizations) and serves no positive purpose for America. Indeed, it is the primary cause of terrorism directed towards the US.

      In its 2004 report, the U.S. Senate 9/11 Commission declared that “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks,” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s “animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experiences there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

      In its analysis of terrorism, the Pentagon’s Defense Science Board of the U.S. Defense Department concluded that “Muslims do not hate our freedom,…they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority object to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights….”

      Nor should we forget the shocking briefing given to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen by senior military officers in 2010. The team was dispatched by Commander General David Petraeus to brief the Pentagon on intelligence that Israeli intransigence in the peace process was jeopardizing American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America was perceived as weak, ineffectual, and unable to stand up to Israel.

      Ha’aretz, January 13, 2012:
      “‘Israel is supposed to be working with us, not against us,’ ”
      “Foreign Policy quoted an [American] intelligence officer as saying. ‘If they want to shed blood, it would help a lot if it was their blood and not ours. You know, they’re supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true.’”

      Ha’aretz, July 28, 2012
      “Former U.S. officials say CIA considers Israel to be Mideast’s biggest spy threat”

      “…despite statements from U.S. politicians trumpeting the friendship, U.S. national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat.

      “In addition to what the former U.S. officials described to AP as intrusions in homes in the past decade, Israel has been implicated in U.S. criminal espionage cases and disciplinary proceedings against CIA officers and blamed in the presumed death of an important spy in Syria for the CIA during the administration of President George W. Bush.

      “The CIA considers Israel its No. 1 counterintelligence threat in the agency’s Near East Division, the group that oversees spying across the Middle East, according to current and former officials.”
      “Opinion: Increasingly, Supporting Israel No Longer Serves America’s Interests”

      “Obama’s UN abstention [UN Security Council Resolution 2334, December 23, 2016] was only the most recent manifestation of ongoing strategic changes that Trump too won’t want or be able to reverse.” Professor Brent Sasley, Jan 07, 2017, Haaretz.

  3. RoHa on February 27, 2018, 1:59 am

    “Israel has been under attack for centuries.”

    Not bad going for a country that has only existed for slightly less than seventy years.

  4. Kay24 on February 27, 2018, 7:40 pm

    What version of the “truth” could that have been? The rest of the world knows that Israel is a vicious occupier, that steals lands, demolishes homes, and kills civilians, and those are undisputed facts, so what exactly could these zionist servants have presented to those who attended, and pretended they were impressed? Trump loves to be praised and feted, and these zionists sure know how to “butter up” the narcissistic president.

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