ZOA rolled out the red carpet for Steve Bannon — and it backfired

On Sunday night, some of America’s most fervent Zionists gathered in midtown Manhattan for the Zionist Organization of America’s annual gala. The well-heeled crowd at the Grand Hyatt included members of Congress, Fox News contributors and members of the Knesset, as well as many young Orthodox Jewish men. They were attending a reception and a dinner honoring, among others, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, and a Republican megadonor, the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.

The event also included some more unexpected guests. Laura Loomer was there. So was conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec. Also in attendance was Sean Spicer, who as spokesman for President Trump had to apologize for claiming that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons against his own people, and for calling concentration camps “Holocaust centers.” Sebastian Gorka was also there, seated at the head table. Gorka was formerly a prominent aide to Trump and — as the Forward reported in February — identified as a sworn member of the far-right Vitezi Rend in Hungary by its leaders. The State Department considers the group to have been “under the direction of the Nazi government” during World War II. (Gorka denies he is a member and says he has worn the Vitezi Rend medal in memory of his father.)

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