Monday night’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee banquet, held at the Washington Convention Center, attracted a staggering 10,000 attendees. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner headlined the event, the presence of former Pistons and Knicks star Allan Houston surprised and delighted those in the hall. He took the stage with sports author and AIPAC National Board Member Betsy Berns Korn to kick off the evening’s festivities.
Houston, who serves as the assistant general manager of the Knicks, joked a little about some of his basketball experiences but was effusive in his praise for the Jewish state. He described his trips to Israel, including an AIPAC-led mission last year featuring several NBA personalities, as a game-changing experience: “We saw the modern-day miracle known as the State of Israel.”
Earlier this year, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, along with the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Community Relations Council, presented Houston, a devout Christian, with its annual Martin Luther King Award for his work in “promoting diversity and tolerance.”