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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Zionist Organization of America’

Ipsos Survey: One Third of American Students Support Boycotting Israel

Monday, May 30th, 2016

One third of American students believe boycotting Israel is justified and constitutes a legitimate means of applying political pressure on the Jewish State, according to a yet to be released Ipsos survey, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported. Ipsos is one of the world’s leading market research firms for hire, managed and controlled by research professionals, offering comprehensive global research programs in 87 countries.

The original Channel 2 story mistakenly assigned those statistics to the US population at large. It was later corrected.

The survey, which will be officially released in advance of an International conference on the struggle against BDS to open on Tuesday, polled a sample of 1,100 American students. It suggests that 33% find a boycott against Israel to be justified. A similar survey conducted in the UK found that 40% of the students there agree that boycotting Israel is legitimate.

The good news is that a 62% majority of US respondents believe that the BDS movement is a form of modern anti-Semitism. About 50% of Briton students also condemn the BDS as being anti-Semitic.

The anti-BDS international conference, titled, “Building Bridges and Fighting Boycotts,” is organized by Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress, Keren Hayesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, and CAMERA. More than 1,500 are expected to participate, including students, representatives of anti-BDS organizations, Jewish American organizations, and opinion makers.


American Jewish Org: ‘Obama Must Condemn Abbas for Praising Murderer of American’

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America has called upon President Barack Obama to publicly condemn Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas’ praise for the terrorist attack in Jaffa yesterday, which claimed the life of Taylor Force, an American citizen.

Force, a West Point graduate, a U.S. army veteran of tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an MBA student at Vanderbilt’s Owen School of Management, was on a visit to Israel to study Israeli entrepreneurship when he was killed by a Palestinian terrorist, Bashar Masalha, who embarked on a stabbing rampage in which 12 other people were wounded.

Vice-President Joseph Biden, who is on a visit to Israel and was meeting former Israeli President Shimon Peres nearby, and whose wife and grandchildren were dining quite close to the scene of the attack, condemned “the kind of violence we saw yesterday, the failure to condemn it, the rhetoric that incites that violence, the retribution that it generates, has to stop.”

Vice-President Biden did not identify Mahmoud Abbas by name for this failure, so we call upon President Barack Obama to do so.

Far from condemning the attack, Fatah and Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority celebrated the murderous rampage of Bashar Masalha. Official PA TV called the victims, including the dead American citizen, “settlers,” a category of people which the PA claims international law gives them a right to murder, and called Masalha, who was killed during his rampage, a “shahid” .

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA mourns the death of Taylor Force and send condolences to his family as well as the families of the 12 other wounded victims of this murderous terrorist rampage.

“We note that Vice-President Biden rightly condemned, not only the murderous terrorism but, just as importantly, the failure to condemn this murderous terrorism.

“That failure is perpetually on display around the world and not least in Mahmoud Abbas’ PA, Israel’s supposed moderate peace partner.

“Vice-President Biden did not identify Mahmoud Abbas by name for this failure, so we call upon President Barack Obama to do so.

“It should be clear the Mahmoud Abbas, not only fails to condemn outright, vicious terrorism but also glorifies the murderer’s lethal rampage, and by doing so, on this and countless other occasions, he helps to foster a climate of incitement to murder and hatred, and is no peace partner.

“When will President Obama finally admit this and put an end to American taxpayer aid to the PA, which is financing a terror-promoting regime, and its media that daily broadcasts this kind of vicious incitement which VP Biden so rightly condemned?”

Jewish Press Staff

Despite Claims of a (Flawed) Poll, American Jews Oppose Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A recent poll commissioned and released by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal was the source of dismay to many. That poll allegedly found that American Jews supported the Iran deal negotiated by America and the other members of the P5+1 and Iran more so than do non-Jewish Americans.

But the poll itself, and especially the wording of the questions and the methodology employed, has been widely criticized.

For one thing, the sample size was small, which led to a high margin of error of six percent.

But more importantly, the wording of the key question was loaded in such a way that at least two well respected academic statisticians, concluded it was “flawed to an extent that the conclusions the pollsters drew from it are not bolstered by the evidence,” and that one “cannot conclude anything from that poll, in either direction.”

This is the key question in the Jewish Journal poll: “As you may know, an agreement was reached in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons. Do you support or oppose this agreement, or don’t know enough to say?”

Well, heck. If all you know about the Iran deal is that it will make it harder for Iran to produce nuclear weapons, and none of the flaws in the deal are mentioned, most people would be inclined to support such a deal.

It gets worse, as you can see by looking at the “script” for the poll, which is available online. The question suggests the respondent can choose “I don’t know enough to have an opinion.”  But those conducting the poll were instructed not to offer that answer, and only ask the respondents if they support or oppose the statement.

The two statisticians who spoke with the JewishPress.com, Professor of Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Abba Kreiger, and Professor of Statistics Moshe Pollak of Hebrew University, were both critical of the Jewish Journal poll.

Two other professionals, one the long-time head of a major American Jewish organization and former statistician and the other a historian, were also critical of the Jewish Journal poll.

Mort Klein, before becoming the president of the Zionist Organization of America in 1993, was a statistician and an economist. Klein, who asked Professors Krieger and Pollak to respond with him to the Jewish Journal poll, criticized the poll with a flourish eschewed by the academics.

“This poll is a fraud, is illegitimate and even deceitful,” Klein told the JewishPress.com. He, like the academic statisticians, focused heavily on the way the significant question, reproduced above, was phrased. Klein explained that the type of phraseology is called a “push poll.” It provided certain information that may or may not be true, but which would influence the respondent.

Klein pointed out that the key question asked should simply have been “do you support or oppose the iran nuclear arms deal.” As asked, “the poll’s introductory characterization politically biases the poll question to push people to support it.”

Another problem with the poll is that households in which a Jew was married to a non-Jew was twice as likely to be interviewed, according to Krieger and Klein.

Rafael Medoff, an historian, author and the founding director of the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, focused on several important, but non-statistical flaws in the poll.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Medoff pointed out that the timing of the poll, which began on July 16, was immediately after the deal was announced, which was prior to any in-depth analysis critical of the deal had been disseminated. As Professor Krieger also mentioned regarding the timing, the five days of polling included a Shabbat, when observant Jews would not have answered the phones at all.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

World Zionist Congress Elections: Time is Running Out

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Have you voted yet in the World Zionist Congress elections? Did you know there is an election happening now, and it ends on April 30?

Okay; step back. What is the World Zionist Congress, why is there an election for it now, and who is running? And then, don’t forget to vote.


The WZC was founded by Theodore Herzl in 1897. His idea was to create a legislative body of informed and interested Jewish organizations to make determinations for the Jewish people with the hope of helping to re-establish the Jewish State.

Now that there is, once again, a Jewish State, the WZC meets every five years to discuss and debate issues vital to the Jewish people, such as Jewish identity, security, civil society in Israel, anti-Semitism, and the Jewish State enterprise.

In addition to general policy discussions, the WZC exerts substantial control over significant assets owned by the three major Jewish institutions. It is in this way that parties with a strong voice in the WZC are able to have some control over how the substantial funds of these organizations are spent.

The Jewish National Fund, which controls approximately 13 percent of Israel’s land is one branch over which the WZC has influence.

The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), which is currently headed by Natan Scharansky, is also under the purview of the WZC. JAFI deals with immigration to Israel and absorption of new olim, and influences education about Zionism.

The third institution over which the WZC has some level of control is the World Zionist Organization. The WZC helps the WZO decide how to allocate funds and assists in the formulation of WZO policies.


The WZC has a total of 500 members. The majority – 190 members – comes from Israel. The United States is entitled to 145 WZC members and the remainder of the diaspora is permitted 165 representatives.

There are currently 11 parties running slates for the WZC in the U.S.

Those parties run the spectrum, from those who believe Israel was given by God and every inch of the biblical homeland belongs to the Jewish people, to those who support the immediate creation of a Palestinian State regardless of the harm to the current Jewish State.

It is essential that anyone voting reads the platform and looks at the slate of individuals running for each slate. Some of the party names do not necessarily correspond with the true nature of the parties.


In order to vote in the U.S. elections for the WZC, you first have to register. If you are 18 years old, live in the United States and accept what is called the “Jerusalem Program,” chances are you are entitled to vote in the U.S. WZC election, which is run by the American Zionist Movement.

The Jerusalem Program encapsulates the belief that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, that Zionism led to the (re)establishment of Israel, which is understood to be a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure state and is the expression of the common responsibilities of the Jewish people for its continuity and future. Zionism assumes the centrality of the State of Israel and of Jerusalem, its capital.

According to the Jerusalem Program, Zionism asserts that Israel is rooted in the vision of the prophets, and that it strives for peace and to contribute to the betterment of the world. Zionism seeks to foster Jewish spiritual and cultural values and nourishes mutual Jewish responsibility, where the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation are defended, and where everyone strives to erase all forms of anti-Semitism. “Finally, settling the country is an expression of practical Zionism.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Public Transportation on Holidays and Rolling Back the Nuclear Framework

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015


Voice of Israels’s Binyamin Nakonechny joins Yishai to share the Kabbalistic perspective on rain after Passover.

Then, should Israel have public transportation on Jewish holidays? And how does Israel adopt a more environmental, less litter-filled, consciousness? Seth Frantzman, op-ed editor of the Jerusalem Post, and Mati Wagner, editorial page editor of the same publication, join Yishai in-studio to discuss their latest articles, both of which address the question of the character of the Jewish state. Mati also shares his Matza-baking experiences with proud, gun-toting Jews.

Finally, Dr. Alan Mazurek, vice chairman of the National Board of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA, and Jeff Daube, director of ZOA Israel, join Yishai in-studio to discuss the possibility of rolling back the nuclear framework agreement; the challenge of the new anti-Semitism on campus; and holding on to history on the Mount of Olives.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

ZOA: Anti-Zionists Should Not Be Allowed in World Zionist Congress

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America has filed a formal objection with the World Zionist Organization against a coalition of what ZOA calls anti-Zionist organizations running a slate to have an increased presence in the World Zionist Congress.

ZOA points out that the World Zionist Organization’s Constitution does not permit members to be organizations that discriminate against Jewish and Israeli businesses, or against other Jews. In addition to violating the WZO’s own constitution, boycotts of Jewish or Israeli businesses also violate New York State Human Rights Law.

If that is the case, then the organizations which named their slate “Hatikvah,” Partners for a Progressive Israel, Ameinu, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror, should be booted.

But there’s a catch, one that the anti-Zionists hope is a permanent life raft. The same organizations ZOA is calling to have tossed from the WZC’s fall 2015 election have all belonged to the WZO for years.

The organizations seeking to join the World Zionist Congress reads like a Who’s Who of the Jewish organizations who love to hate Zionism, and who claim to criticize Israel first, last and only, “out of love” for the Jewish State. Love like that kills.

The groups joining together in a united front include: Partners for a Progressive Israel (formerly MeretzUSA), Ameinu, Habonim Dror North America, and Hashomer Hatzair. The groups share various essentials, according to ZOA, including New York office space, various directors and ideology.

The PPI brazenly supports consumer boycotts against such Israeli companies as Ahava, SodaStream and a list of others.

While Ameinu calls itself an “American Zionist organization” and insists it opposes boycotts of Israeli products, the ZOA points out that Ameinu began a special unit in its organization which lobbies the American and European governments to impose severe financial and travel restrictions on Israel’s Finance Minister and other Israeli leaders.

Yet another objection ZOA raises to the HaTikvah slate is what ZOA describes as close involvement between PPI, Ameinu and the J Street organization. J Street has long hosted and supported many of the leading Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel groups and individuals. Despite claims of not being BDS advocates, their history and associations make clear the opposite is true.

The ZOA wants both the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization to expel PPI and Ameinu from membership, and to prevent HaTikvah from running for the World Zionist Congress. ZOA is currently a member of the AZM and the WZC, and so believes it has standing to bring this claim.

Should ZOA fail in its bid to bar the ani-Zionist slate from running, ZOA wants, at a minimum, for that group of organizations to be prevented from using the name HaTikvah. The basis for that move is that such a name, which of course evokes the Israeli national anthem, is confusing and will mislead uninformed voters who think the slate actually stands for what the words to the Israeli anthem mean, the essence of which is for Jews to be able to live freely in their ancient land.

As pointed out in ZOA’s  formal complaint filed first with the American Zionist Movement, and then with the Central Election Board, Ameinu’s  longtime director Leonard Fein called the words of the anthem HaTikvah “an insult” in a 2000 speech.

Judge Abraham Gafni of the American Zionist Movement rejected ZOA’s complaint. Gafni said that PPI, Ameinu and the HaTikvah slate were all entitled to participate in the 2015 World Zionist Congress election because they ran before and won at least one seat in the 2006 and 2010 World Zionist Congress elections.

The ZOA, however, said that fact should be irrelevant for several reasons. First of all, the BDS movement had barely gotten off the ground in 2010, and certainly in 2006. Furthermore, Ameinu’s new council seeking severe sanctions on Israeli leaders only began very recently.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

California Taxpayer Money Hijacked for Faculty Terrorist Meetings?

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Once again painstaking work done by supporters of Israel reveal that public universities are paying to support, encourage and promote terrorists by faculty or students of American universities. This time what it means is that American taxpayers are paying for radical professors to travel to the Middle East in order to show solidarity with and support people who promote the murder of Americans and Israelis.

The scam this time went like this: a professor of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University, Prof. Rabab Abdulhadi submitted a series of documents for SFSU administrators to sign so that she could get funding to attend an academic conference in Lebanon, to “conduct research,” and to meet with “potential collaborators towards [establishing a] memorandum of understanding with San Francisco State University” in Jordan and the West Bank.

After her trip and the funding was approved, Abdulhadi sent a memo stating that “her name was dropped from the academic conference.”

But Abdulhadi went on the pre-approved and publicly funded trip anyway, with the $7000 she was given by SFSU for her “academic” trip.

And then, not only did Abdulhadi not obtain academic enrichment from attendance at an academic conference, she instead used the money to meet with and show solidarity with various known terrorists in order to support those terrorists by establishing “working relationships” with Palestinian Arab activists “engaged in BDS and other efforts against the occupation.” This astounding information was not obtained through clandestine espionage. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin and her colleagues at the AMCHA Initiative, along with several other pro-Israel groups, simply read public documentation of  the funding provided to those who went on the trip with Abdulhadi. Those faculty members proudly bragged on public websites about their activities in furthering the delegitimization of Israel – paid for with taxpayer money. The fact that the trip was paid and signed for by SFSU officials was easily revealed through a California Public Information Act Request.

For example, in an event on March 6, 2014 that was advertised on the SFSU Ethnic Studies website, Prof. Abdulhadi and two other members of the “Academic and Labor Delegation to Palestine 2014” — SFSU Ethnic Studies Professor Joanne Barker and Abdulhadi’s husband Jaime Veve — discussed their trip to “the West Bank and the 1948 areas of Palestine [sic, i.e. Israel].”

In her presentation at the March 6 event, Abdulhadi called the trip to Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel, which she had led, a “political solidarity tour,” and she went on to say: “This was not ‘solidarity light,’ this was not ‘pre-Solidarity 101’.”

Prof. Barker, in her blog documenting the trip, corroborated Abdulhadi’s statement, writing that the delegation “established working relationships and furthered their solidarities with Palestinian scholars, artists, and activists engaged in BDS and other efforts against the occupation.”  The event announcement also confirmed that the purpose of Abdulhadi’s University-funded trip was not to engage in University-related business but rather to pursue her own personal political goals: to promote “resolute actions in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”

Why Abdulhadi was not required to provide documentation that the funds disbursed by the university – public funds consisting of taxpayer money – were used in accordance with the funding request is unknown. Or if, perhaps, there was documentation after the trip that was provided by Abdulhadi to SFSU, and if it did not accurately reflect the manner in which the money was used, Abdulhadi must reimburse the community funds.

For example, did the documentation reveal that the SFSU employees met with people who are known terrorists, including ones who are members of organizations on the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations?

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/california-taxpayer-money-hijacked-for-faculty-terrorist-meetings/2014/05/30/

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