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Lauder: ‘Singling Out Israel for Criticism is Anti-Semitism’

June 20, 2016

“See, the Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.”  (Psalm 121:4)

Last Tuesday, the Guardian of Zion Award was presented to World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder in recognition of his making “a lasting contribution to fostering the spirit of Jerusalem and to the strengthening of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

The annual award ceremony by the Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies, which is based at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel was hosted at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

According to Rennert Center Director Prof. Joshua Schwartz, “Ron Lauder embodies a deep commitment to the welfare and well-being of the Jewish people worldwide.  He has devoted decades to the building and rebuilding of Jewish life and has contributed greatly to the revitalizing of Jewish identity through educational and cultural initiatives and much more.”

King David Hotel, Jerusalem, Israel, Guardian of Israel award

Ronald Lauder was awarded the Guardian of Zion award at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

In a lecture titled “The Future of the Jewish People,” he noted that “for the first time since the Holocaust, anti-Semitism is acceptable again” around the world, and not only “just from the Far-Right, but increasingly it comes from the Far-Left.”

“The new target for this age-old hatred is not the ‘International Jew,’ as Henry Ford called us.  Today, it is the Jewish state of Israel, which is constantly vilified throughout the media, on the internet, at the United Nations, and on almost every college campus.”

“Let’s make one thing crystal-clear right now.  When someone says they are not anti-Jewish, they are only anti-Israel, that is a lie,” Lauder said.  “When you hold the only Jewish nation to a different standard than any other country, when you make up lies about the only Jewish nation, its past and its present, and when you want the only Jewish nation on earth to disappear, that makes you an anti-Semite.  Pure and simple.”

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress

Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress

However, unlike at the 1936 founding of the World Jewish Congress, the Jewish people today do not need to turn to the world for help, he told the audience.

With the State of Israel established as an independent nation, thriving in areas of agriculture, technology, medicine, intelligence and defense, the Jewish nation has become increasingly self-reliant.  With God’s favor, the Jewish people’s historic home has once again become a haven where they know they can be safe and not hunted down.

Jerusalem, Orthodox, Israelis

The ancient walls of Jerusalem

Lauder also lamented the United Nations’ anti-Jewish spiral, but affirmed that the destiny of Jews today “is in our own hands.”

“The era of the quiet Jew is over,” Lauder said, adding that with more emphasis placed on Jewish public relations, “We, not our enemies, will define who we are.”

Lauder also said that the Jewish flame in the hearts of the people of Israel has been lighting the entire world for over 5,000 years.

“This is the job before us now.  We have to help our children and our grandchildren dust off their hearts; we have to help them rediscover that Jewish flame inside them,” he said.  “This isn’t just important for Jews; it’s important for everyone, Jews and Gentiles.”

This is the 20th year the Guardian of Zion award has been conferred.  Other recipients include Professors Elie Wiesel, Sir Martin Gilbert, and Ruth Roskies Wisse, as well as authors Herman Wouk and Cynthia Ozick, movie producer Arthur Cohn, and journalists William Safire, Dr. Charles Krauthammer, and A.M. Rosenthal.

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