Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has called on American Zionists to join his “insurgency movement” against the Republican Party establishment as he attempts to unseat senators he claims are blocking Donald Trump’s agenda.
In a fiery address he called on people to join him and “work as partners" in his challenge against members of the US President's own party.
“We’re leading an insurgency movement against the Republican establishment,” he told the crowd at the Zionist Organisation of America’s annual awards dinner in New York.
“That’s how you get the Iran deal,” he said. “That’s how we still allow the American government to finance people that have blood on their hands of innocent Jewish civilians.”
The president “needs our back”, he added. “We’re a nation at war. This war is only going to be won if we bind together and work as partners."
Among the gala's attendees were a number of current and former staff members from Mr Trump’s administration.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has largely embraced Mr Bannon. However, other Jewish leaders have raised concerns about both him and the Breitbart News outlet that he runs.
The website is popular among some white supremacists, anti-Semites and others who identify with the so-called alt-right movement.
Activists led by the IfNotNow Jewish social justice group marched from the New York Public Library to the hotel hosting the gala in protest against Mr Bannon's appearance at the event.
The former White House strategist was invited to the gala last year but did not show up,
He was described in the summer as “one of the best friends that Israel has had in any administration” by Arthur Schwartz, the external political and policy adviser to ZOA.
“We’re honoured that he accepted our invitation,” he told The Atlantic magazine.
Since leaving the White House in August after less than a year in his role, Mr Bannon has singled out a number of sitting Republican senators who he claims are blocking the president’s agenda in Washington.
He has also been raising money in an attempt to defeat them and he is reportedly in the process of recruiting a number of candidates to run against Republicans facing re-election in a number of seats.
Additional reporting by Associated Press