Washington Free Beacon chairman Michael Goldfarb received the Ben Hecht award for outstanding journalism from the Zionist Organization of America’s Philadelphia chapter on Thursday.
Goldfarb told the audience, gathered for the organization’s annual gala, that he was proud of the role the Free Beacon plays in the “eternal struggle against the enemies of the Jewish people.”
Founded in 1897, the ZOA was the first official Zionist organization in the United States. The group praised Goldfarb for his role in the 2012 founding of the Free Beacon as well as the outlet’s coverage of issues that affect Israel and the Jewish people.
The award is named after the 20th century Chicago newsman and screenwriter Ben Hecht, who took great efforts to raise awareness about the Holocaust in the United States in the early 1940s. His advocacy for a Jewish state made him a hero with the Zionist resistance in British Mandatory Palestine and put him in the crosshairs of the British government.
Speaking at the ZOA gala dinner, Goldfarb said the Free Beacon strives, through its work, to defend “security, prosperity and freedom for the Jewish people.”
“The stories we cover at the Free Beacon, and the way we cover them, have made us no friends at the Pulitzer committee or the White House Correspondents’ Association,” he said. “The downside is that recognition does not come easy for us. The upside, when recognition is bestowed, it really counts for something.”
“We don’t turn the other cheek. We don’t trim our sails. We don’t appease. We do not shy away from challenge or confrontation,” he said.
American supporters of Israel, said Goldfarb, “see clearly that threats to the Jewish people are also threats to our country—threats to liberalism, threats to democracy, threats to freedom. We realize there are forces in this world that seek our annihilation.”
He noted that “no issue tells us more about a candidate than his or her view of the bond between Israel and the United States.”
“In American politics, we can afford to be wrong about lots of things. Marginal tax rates. Deficit targets. How much to give this program or that one,” he said. “We can’t afford to be wrong about Israel—a country founded as a refuge from the wicked. A country whose whole fate is still on the line.”