Pro-Israel Group Moves Gala to Trump's Resort After Flurry of Cancellations Over Charlottesville Remarks

Nearly 20 charities have canceled their events at Mar-a-Lago in protest of his comments on Charlottesville. One group is going against the tide

President Trump at the Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON - Over the past two weeks, almost 20 charities and organizations have canceled events they were planning to hold in the coming months at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump's resort in Florida, following his remarks on the violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Yet one pro-Israeli organization has decided to swim against the tide: While everyone is getting out of Mar-a-Lago, The Truth About Israel called the resort and asked to book a gala event in February. The event will commemorate 45 years to the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The speakers at the event will be former Israeli ambassador to Washington, Danny Ayalon, and three Republican members of Congress. 

"Everyone is taking a stand that they don't like him. We're taking a stand that we do," one of the event's organizers told the pro-Trump website Newsmax. "I wanted to say, 'Thank you, Mr. President, for being a supporter of the state of Israel, our only ally in the Mideast.'"

In fact, the organization canceled a prior reservation at another resort in the area, so it could move its event to the president's estate, according to the report. 

Among the groups that canceled their events at Mar-a-Lago recently was American Friends of Magen David Adom, a charity supporting Israel's national emergency health services. 

The group said in a press statement last week that the decision to move the event to another location was reached “after considerable deliberation,” without explaining what exactly prompted it. But the Palm Beach Post reported that the cancellation could be a result of Trump “crossing a red line” with his recent comments on the events in Charlottesville. The report quoted one philanthropist as saying “the tide has turned against Trump,” and that “when you get into the area of anti-Semitism, global anti-Semitism, it transcends all the other issues, like health care and immigration.”

Last week, Trump seemingly drew a moral equivalence between white nationalists and neo-Nazis protesting in Charlottesville on August 12 and those who were attacked by them.

Speaking at the Trump Tower in New York, the president was asked for his opinion after Senator John McCain had condemned the so-called "alt-right" for its role in the violent rally, to which he responded: "What about alt-left? Do they have any semblance of guilt?"

One counter-protester was killed and dozens injured on August 12 in a car attack that took place as hundreds of right-wing protestors rallied in Charlottesville against the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee, commander of the pro-slavery Confederate army in the U.S. Civil War.

Trump drew backlash when he said "both sides" played a role in the violence.