Gala benefit was resounding success as political heavyweights from across the spectrum were in attendance
On Monday, June 19th, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) announced that its 11th Anniversary Rays of Light in the Darkness dinner held last Wednesday on June 14th in the Washington, DC area was its most successful Dinner yet.
EMET is the first organization of its kind to celebrate those who bravely speak out in favor of freedom and democracy, and spread the emet (Hebrew for truth) about Israel, the Middle East, and Islamic terrorism. These Speakers of Truth speak out in the face of discrimination and violence to share the belief in a strong United States, a self-sufficient Israel, and continued support of our allies in the Middle East. They believe in religious and ethnic minority rights, lead the fight against anti-Semitism, and support American and Israeli security.
EMET’s 2017 Speaker of Truth honorees included: Ambassador Ron Dermer, Israeli Ambassador to the United States; Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma; Rep. Mark Meadows, Congressman of North Carolina; Rep. Juan Vargas, Congressman of California; Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; and Nadiya Al-Noor, a young Muslim Zionist.
“EMET is a phenomenal organization as I’m sure all of you in this room know…they go from strength to strength…in the Middle East lies have become the central pillar of our enemies’ strategy against us. A massive effort has gone into covering up the truth, especially the truth about the Israel-Palestine situation,” Colonel Richard Kemp stated.
“We know the Palestinian leadership will not accept any peace with Israel short of outright capitulation. No matter how much they might pretend otherwise, no matter how much they might lie to President Trump or Prime Minister May, we know they want only the destruction of the Jewish State. We know also that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from Judea and Samaria and have a hope of survival,” Colonel Richard Kemp added, while addressing a packed room of approximately 400 attendees, including a number of Congressmen, congressional staff, Ambassadors, and other distinguished guests.
“Under the leadership of Sarah Stern, EMET has truly been a light in the darkness, in the trenches, defending the truth despite all the vicissitudes when it was popular and especially when it was not popular,” Ambassador Ron Dermer stated.
“Everyday we are treated not just to alternative facts about Israel but to an alternative universe about Israel; an alternative universe of real lies with real consequences…In this alternative universe Israel is routinely accused of being a racist, apartheid state, despite being the only country in the Middle East where Arabs are free; despite being the only country in history that took blacks out of Africa to freedom; and despite being the only country that has treated enemies bent on its destruction more compassionately than any country in history, period,” the Ambassador told to an audience clapping in unison.
Congressman Mark Meadows, a Republican and three term Representative from North Carolina’s 11th District, stated: “There is not a day that goes by when I don’t say what can I do for Israel today…During Nazi Germany, they would tie three Jews together and shoot the two on the ends to not waste a bullet. Now I share that with you because before they would shoot the two on the end and push them into the Danube to drown, they would take off their shoes, because their shoes were seen to be of value. Debbie [Meadows] and I made a commitment right there on the Danube that as long as I am a Member of Congress and serving this great nation, never again will the most valuable thing of a Jewish life be their shoes. It is time we shine a light in the darkness.”
Congressman Juan Vargas, a Democrat from California said:
“I grew up with this love for Israel and Jerusalem in particular because of what I heard and believed in every Sunday…I’m going to do everything I can, everything I can to be a solid strong supporter of Israel and not because of politics…” Rep. Vargas added: “We have to be bipartisan. If we as Americans want to help Israel we have to help Israel we have to keep it bipartisan. Bipartisan support for Israel. I will never waver.”
Rep. Vargas added: “I do have one pet peeve…When people talk about 67. Sixty-seven. And they interchange it with 1967. The reality is that Israel existed in [the year] 67. It’s one of the few countries in the world that existed in 67. There was no United States in 67. Israel existed in 67. And when people say that we should go back to the 67 lines, I’m OK with that. I’m actually fine with that. I’m very fine with that. The lines may be twice as long. The neighbors may not. I am fine with 67.”
Each year EMET presents one of its Speaker of Truth awards to a brave individual who comes from the Arab or Muslim world and tells the truth about radical Islam and its assault on Israel, the United States, and Western civilization, sometimes risking their acceptance among family, community, and friends, and even their very own lives. This year EMET bestowed the honor upon Nadiya Al-Noor, a young Muslim Zionist, who had just returned from her first trip to Israel prior to event. “”It saddens me that simply being a Muslim who does not hate Israel is considered award worthy in this day and age…I shouldn’t be called brave just because I wrote an article urging Muslims to denounce Palestinian terrorism after a 13 year-old Israeli girl was murdered in her bed. Anybody from any background should be appalled by this; it shouldn’t have to be said.” Al-Noor told the audience.
“If there are problems in our Muslim community we should fix them, not sweep them under the rug. If we want a better image for our community we must address those issues head on. It doesn’t matter if people only want to hear nice things, we must offend with the truth rather than stay silent,” Al-Noor added.
EMET was also proud to honor an Israeli Druze soldier, Ashraf Halabi, with a Hakarat Hatov, “Recognition of the Good,” Award, to express its gratitude to the Israeli Druze community for being among the most loyal of soldiers and citizens of the Jewish State.
Mr. Halabi spoke in uniform to an enthusiastic audience: “Since its establishment and to this day the loyalty and support of the Druze community to the State of Israel is unconditional. Ever since I was a child, I have heard the saying that the Druze and the Jews are blood brothers, but I think the Druze and the Jews are life brothers. We have fought in battle to protect and preserve the security of the State of Israel, and we even take part in making strategy decisions.”
Previous EMET “Speakers of Truth” award recipients have included U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman, Daniel Inouye, Jon Kyl, Sam Brownback, and Ted Cruz; Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Bret Stephens; Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, author, and political commentator, Dr. Charles Krauthammer; former U.S. Ambassador; John Bolton; Governor, Mike Huckabee; Harvard law professor Alan M. Dershowtiz; human rights activists Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, and Brigitte Gabriel, among many other notables.
EMET’s Rays of Light in the Darkness Dinner supports the organization’s continuous, vital work in educating and providing pertinent information to Senators and Members of Congress to make informed decisions that will improve American security and the security of America’s ally, Israel.
Said Sarah Stern, EMET founder and president, “EMET is very proud to annually host our Rays of Light in the Darkness Dinner to recognize and honor those courageous individuals who dedicate their lives to tell the truth about Israel. This year was particularly unique because we also gathered to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the miraculous victory of the Six Day War, and the liberation of Jerusalem, and to pledge that the united, eternal city will never be divided and forced out of Jewish hands again.”
“Since our founding in 2005, EMET has seen incredible successes; our growth has been nothing short of phenomenal, and given the current climate in the Middle East, our work is more important now as ever. I am so very pleased and humbled that our 11th Anniversary Dinner was our most successful Dinner yet,” Stern added.
About The Endowment for Middle East Truth
Founded in 2005, EMET’s mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam. For more information, please visit, http://www.emetonline.org. Follow EMET on Twitter and Facebook.