On December 13, Ron Dermer, the current Israeli ambassador to the United States, is scheduled to receive an award from the Center for Security Policy (CSP), a notorious anti-Muslim think tank headed by conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney.
As first reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Dermer will receive CSP’s “Freedom Flame Award” at a dinner ceremony in New York City.
Gaffney and his outfit are known for promoting bigoted conspiracy theories about Muslims in the United States. The group has produced numerous reports dubiously suggesting Muslims are attempting to “penetrate” various U.S. institutions and subvert them from within. This tactic, according to Gaffney and his colleagues, is known as “civilian” or “stealth” jihad.
A shoddy, unscientific poll commissioned by CSP was also used by President-elect Donald Trump to justify his proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.
When reached for comment by the SPLC, Itai Bardov, a spokesperson for the Israeli embassy, doubled down on Dermer’s appearance and seemingly feigned ignorance regarding Gaffney’s track record.
“Ambassador Dermer is not aware of any anti-Muslim views held by the Center for Security Policy and certainly would not endorse any such view,” Bardov stated.
Ron Dermer himself is not without controversy, as highlighted by Alternet. He has previously defended the killing of Palestinian civilians-including children-during Israel’s 51-day war. He has also advocated the Israeli Defense Forces be given the Nobel Peace Prize for “fighting with unimaginable restraint.”
Several prominent Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, have urged Dermer to reject the award.
If awarded, Ron Dermer will join others who have been honored by CSP in some capacity. Previous recipients of CSP awards include staunch nativist Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), anti-Shariah crusader Mayor Beth Van Duyne, and former Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who led a McCarthy-esque anti-Muslim witch hunt against Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton.