America-Israel Friendship League’s Partners for Democracy Awards Dinner
(left to right) Vice Admiral (Ret.) Yedidia Yaari, President & CEO RAFAEL; Raymond W. Kelly, Former NYC Police Commissioner; MK Amir Peretz; Nissim Hadas, IAI Executive Vice President & Elta President and Col. (Ret.) Natan Barak, mPrest President & CEO
The America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) held its 2014 Partners for Democracy Award Dinner Monday night, December 1, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, honoring The Iron Dome. “The AIFL is taking the extraordinary step of honoring not a person but a defense system. The Iron Dome Missile Defense System successfully secured the skies of Israel against rockets and missiles launched by Hamas in the recent Gaza war. Had not the Iron Dome achieved the success it did, Israeli’s civilian population was at risk of immense casualties. The Iron Dome is an example of the successful combination of Israel’s initiation and the U.S. support of financing and technical cooperation,” said AIFL Chairman, Kenneth J. Bialkin.
The League presented its Partners for Democracy Award to MK Peretz, former Israeli Minister of Defense who secured government support for the project; Dr. Daniel Gold, initiator and entrepreneur of the Iron Dome System and the Hon. Raymond W. Kelly, whom Ken Bialkin called “New York’s Iron Dome” for his relentless fight against domestic terrorism.
Honorees also included RAFAEL Advanced Defense Systems, Ltd., the prime contractor for the Iron Dome project, President & CEO Vice Admiral (Ret.) Yedidia Yaari; Israel Aerospace Industries, Ltd., developer and manufacturer of the Iron Dome’s radar system, Nissim Hadas, IAI Executive Vice President & Elta President and mPrest, developer and manufacturer of the Iron Dome Command and Control System, President & CEO Col. (Ret.) Natan Barak.
Prior to the award presentations, Pulitzer Prize winning foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal Bret Stephens moderated an Iron Dome discussion with Ambassador Ron Prosor, Dr. Daniel Gold, Ambassador Dan Gillerman and Eric Cantor.
Former NYC Police Commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, accepting the AIFL Partners for Democracy Award from Amb. Dan Gillerman, former Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations and Israel Chairman of the AIFL
“ It is a great honor to be a recipient of this year’s ‘Partners for Democracy’ award. The America-Israel Friendship League has long been instrumental in advancing the relationship between the people of the United States and Israel, securing its future and cementing the U.S.-Israeli partnership. ”
~ Ray Kelly
The gala dinner at the Plaza was attended by leading members of the American and Israeli business, technology and philanthropic communities as well as government and diplomatic missions.