Bannon on Refusing Lunch with Palestinian President: ‘I Didn’t Want to Breathe the Same Air as a Terrorist’


Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon discussed his address to the Zionist Organization of America on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Bannon said Breitbart News is “very proud of the fact that we’re the most pro-Jewish site of any news site, and I include The Forward in that.”

He cited Breitbart News’ leadership against the BDS movement to boycott companies that do business with Israel, its leading role in protecting “young Jewish kids on college campuses” from anti-Semitism, and Breitbart London’s work in chronicling “the plight of the Jews in Europe.”

“We set up Breitbart Jerusalem under Aaron Klein, I would say The Great Aaron Klein, to be a voice of really breaking stories over there,” he added. “We couldn’t be prouder, and last night I was so proud to talk to this Zionist Organization of America.”

“You know the reason I love the Zionist Organization of America and Morton Klein and the folks? They are such fighters,” he said. “I mean, it’s like another Breitbart. These guys are just fighters, and the audience last night was just fantastic. Tom Cotton was honored, Chris Ruddy was honored, Ambassador Friedman, who I think is one of the best picks in the entire Trump administration. It was just a fantastic night.”

“The bar has been so lowered for what it means to support Israel,” he elaborated, recounting the incident from his White House tenure described in his introduction to the ZOA where he refused to attend a lunch meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“I wouldn’t go to the lunch because I didn’t want to breathe the same air as a terrorist,” said Bannon. “I didn’t want to eat lunch with a guy that had the blood of innocent Jewish civilians on his hands. I just don’t. That got folks pretty worked up, and I think I gave a rousing honey badger speech.”

Bannon said he was strongly in favor of moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. “We’ve got to do this. The time has come. This is something that has to be done,” he urged.

He noted that the Trump campaign made four core promises to voters in 2016: “Completely destroy the physical caliphate of ISIS, name the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, decertify and renegotiate the Iran deal, and then move the embassy to Jerusalem.”

“We’ve done two of those four. We destroyed the physical caliphate in the Middle East and he’s decertified the Iran deal, and he’s begun the process, I think, to renegotiation,” he said of President Trump’s policy moves. “We’ve still got to name the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, and we have to move the embassy. Those things have to be done. I know President Trump is going to do them. They were on my whiteboard in the little war room I ran, so I know they’ll be done. And they have to be done.”

Bannon spoke glowingly of the Gatestone Institute, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech, and of its chairman John Bolton, a former U.N. ambassador and frequent guest of Breitbart News Daily.

“He’s one of the best strategic thinkers in the country. I hope one day, not too in the far future, that John Bolton takes a big and active role in President Trump’s administration,” he said.

Bannon previewed his Gatestone Institute address as covering “China, Persia, and Turkey, and what’s going on in the world,” promising that while attendance at the speech in Washington on Monday is most likely sold out, it will be posted on Breitbart News as soon as possible.