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Posts Tagged ‘ZOA’

ZOA Honors Scheck Hillel Community School Students

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America’s first team of high school fellows attended and were applauded at ZOA’s Brandeis Awards Gala, which took place November 20. The following is an excerpt from the announcement that was made from the podium:

Hillel students at ZOA event.

Hillel students at ZOA event.

“The Zionist Organization of America is proud to announce its first High School Fellowship, being piloted with the Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami. In addition to ZOA’s tremendous work and involvement on college campuses, the ZOA High School Fellowship aims to prepare students for what they will encounter before they get to college, while also serving as a seamless transition for the students’ continued involvement with ZOA when they get to college and beyond, no matter the career path.”

The announcement continued: “The fellowship has already been launched with three exceptional senior year Hillel students, under the direction of ZOA Florida’s executive director, Sharona Whisler, and partnership with Scheck Hillel’s Capstone and Social Studies Department chair Yehudis Benhamou. We’d like to take a moment to recognize ZOA’s first High School Fellows…Abigail Winograd, Avi Bryan, and Jordana Zackon.”

For more information about ZOA Florida, e-mail swhistler@zoa.org.

Shelley Benveniste

ZOA Applauds Bill Improving Title VI Protections for Jewish Students

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly praised the U.S. Senate for unanimously passing the bipartisan “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act” on December 1, 2016 – introduced by U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) on November 29th – which will improve the enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation at federally-funded schools.

The Act would require the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) to consider the U.S. State Department’s outstanding and comprehensive definition of anti-Semitism when the DOE reviews, investigates or decides whether Jewish students’ rights have been violated under Title VI. (A companion bill in the House was introduced by U.S. Reps. Peter J. Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Kay Granger (R-TX), Steve Israel (D-NY), and Chris Smith (R-NJ), the co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combatting Anti-Semitism.)

The State Department’s longstanding definition of anti-Semitism appropriately recognizes that anti-Semitism can be expressed in many ways. It includes not only traditional expressions of Jew-hatred, but also the demonization of Israel (e.g., comparing Israeli policy to that of the Nazis), the imposition of an impossible double standard on Israel, and the delegitimization of Israel (i.e., denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination and denying Israel the right to exist).

The legislation would require the DOE to consider that Title VI might be violated if Jewish students were subjected to a hostile environment engendered by anti-Semitism that is expressed as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.

The DOE is responsible for enforcing Title VI to prohibit discrimination at federally-funded schools on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The legislation would require the DOE to consider that Title VI might be violated if Jewish students were subjected to a hostile environment engendered by anti-Semitism that is expressed as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism.

Historically, the DOE did not even enforce Title VI to protect Jewish students from anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation. The agency considered Jews to be strictly a religious group and not also an ethnic group, and thus outside the protections of the law.

But after a six-year battle led by the ZOA, the DOE changed its interpretation of the law in 2010. The DOE recognized that Jewish students who face discrimination based on their actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics were entitled to the protections of Title VI.

Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., Director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, and Zach Stern, Managing Director of ZOA Campus, stated, “This legislation is crucial to ensuring that the rights of Jewish students to a safe and welcoming campus environment are fully protected under Title VI. Based on the ZOA’s work with Jewish students on campuses across the country, we know that they are not only enduring ethnic slurs and the vandalism of Jewish property, which few would question as anti-Semitism. They are also facing anti-Semitism expressed as vicious anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism. Hate groups like Students for Justice in Palestine are creating a hostile learning environment for Jewish students, calling for an intifada and for Israel’s destruction. They blame ‘Zionists’ for high tuition and other problems. And they engage in vicious and hurtful name-calling against Jewish students, falsely accusing them of being racists and baby-killers.

“For many years, the State Department has appropriately recognized this kind of conduct as anti-Semitism, and the ZOA has been calling on the DOE to do the same. This legislation will accomplish what we’ve been fighting for. All forms of anti-Semitism cause pain to Jewish students and interfere with their right to a learning environment that is physically and psychologically safe. With this legislation, the DOE will have to take into account all the forms of anti-Semitism that Jewish students are being subjected to, including the anti-Semitism that is expressed as anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism.”

Dan Pollak and Josh London, Co-Directors of the ZOA’s Government Relations Department, stated: “We have been meeting with members of Congress and their staff for many years to ensure that Jewish students are fully protected from all forms of anti-Semitism under Title VI. We are now working with members of the House to urge them to move quickly in passing this much-needed legislation.”

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA Florida Chapter Sponsors Three Events

Monday, December 5th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America’s Florida chapter recently sponsored three events for Edwin Black, the acclaimed investigative journalist and award-winning author of IBM and The Holocaust, Financing the Flames, and Nazi Nexus.

Mr. Black addressed students at the Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami on the “The History of Israel and International Law.” Later that evening, Mr. Black spoke to a packed house at Congregation Torah Ohr about the Farhud, the title and subject of another of his best sellers. During this visit, Mr. Black also addressed students, faculty, and community members at Nova Southeastern University as part of the State Department’s International Education Week, giving his analysis on the next 66 days and 66 weeks post-election.

For more information about ZOA Florida Region contact Sharona Whisler at swhisler@zoa.org or call 917-673-6123.

 

Edwin Black with students at Scheck Hillel Community School.

Edwin Black with students at Scheck Hillel Community School.

Shelley Benveniste

ZOA Appalled that Vatican Tours Erase Israel

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Vatican for organizing and promoting tours of Christian sites in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, as part of tours to ‘Palestine,’ erasing Israel from the picture. The ZOA regards this a sinister reiteration of Catholic replacement theology, whereby Jews and Judaism are theologically dismissed from history. Replacement theology served for centuries as the warrant and inspiration for theologically-inspired hatred, as well as vicious persecution of, and violence against, Jews.

A report from Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, a writer for the Italian daily, Il Foglio, indicates that Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi, a Vatican office that organizes pilgrimages to Christian sites around the world, sponsors a trip in “Palestine,” with iconic Christian sites in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. This is in addition to the fact that, as Meotti writes, “Catholic tourist maps and pilgrimage brochures omitted the name ‘Israel,’ using instead the sanitized expression ‘Holy Land,’ one of the visible effects of the Catholic ‘replacement theology,’ which adopts a deJudaizing language. It [is also] no secret that Catholic pilgrims spend virtually all their time visiting holy sites in Palestinian-run territory, staying in Palestinian Arab hotels and listening to Palestinian Arab tour guides. As a result, these pilgrims return filled with hatred towards Israel” (Giulio Meotti, ‘Vatican buses promote trips to Jerusalem, “Palestine,” Israel National News, November 23, 2016).

 

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is deeply critical of the Vatican’s organizing and promotion of tours to Israel, the biblical, historical and legal homeland of the Jewish people, which erase and thus deny the Jewish identity, indeed the very name, of the country, substituting ‘Palestine.’

 

“‘Palestine’ was never and is not now a sovereign state, much less one with legal responsibility or effective control of many of the sites being visited on these tours. Palestine is not even an Arab name but named by the Romans.

 

“With its Nostra Aetate declaration in 1965, the Catholic Church repudiated its historical position holding the Jewish people responsible for the death of Jesus, renounced its traditional claim that Jews had been rejected by God, condemned anti-Semitism, and called for ‘mutual understanding and respect’ between Catholics and Jews. It is difficult to see how this epoch-making new affirmation and policy is being in any way honored by the Vatican with respect to the tours to Israel that it organizes and promotes.

 

“When Pope John Paul II visited the Rome Synagogue in 1986 –– the first pontiff to visit a synagogue –– he embraced Rabbi Elio Toaff and declared Jews the ‘elder brothers’ of Christians. One does not treat an elder brother as non-existent and revise one’s language to avoid referring to him, while exclusively seeking the company of his hostile neighbors.

 

“We urge the Vatican to cease organizing and promoting tours to Israel that do not name the country, do not refer to its Jewish history and which shun contacts with the country of its ‘elder brothers.’”

 

Zionist Organization of America

ZOA Urges Hadassah and Conservative Judaism Movement: End Your Campaign Against Stephen Bannon

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its boots.”  Mark Twain

“Keep far away from falsehood.” Exodus 23:7

I, Morton A. Klein, am a child of holocaust survivors born in a displaced persons camp in Germany, and lost most of my family to that monstrous war against the Jews. If there were a hint of anti- Semitism in Stephen Bannon’s background I would be the first to scream out and fight against him.

But because, in the words of pro-Israel author of a respected book on anti-Semitism, Dennis Prager, on the charge of Bannon’s anti-Semitism, “it’s a vile libelous lie, fabricated, and a witchhunt,” I and the ZOA urge the Conservative Judaism Movement and Hadassah to discontinue their false, misguided, and hurtful campaigns against a great friend of Israel and the Jewish people – President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen K. Bannon. The Conservative Judaism Movement and Hadassah apparently mistakenly based their anti-Bannon campaigns on false information that has since been disproven and retracted. The anti-Bannon statements and campaigns are character assassination of the worst kind against a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. Professor Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Dennis Prager, pro-Israel philanthropist and Home Depot founder Bernie Marcus, J Post’s Melanie Phillips, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and other Israeli leaders, writer and Orthodox Jew Joel Pollak and others all say that Mr. Bannon is not anti-Semitic.

It is important that the Conservative Judaism Movement and Hadassah stop being the “Jews of Silence” when it comes to a real enemy of Israel and the Jewish people – namely real anti-Semite, Israel-basher, promoter of anti-Israel legislation and anti-Israel platform planks and longtime Farrakhan / Nation of Islam activist Cong. Keith Ellison. Cong. Ellison is the leading candidate to become Chair of the Democratic National Committee. He will then control funds for candidates and have a powerful platform to spew his anti-Israel attitudes. Ellison has referred to Israel as an apartheid State, voted against Iron Dome funding, compared 9-11 to Reichstag German Parliament building fire which brought Hitler to power, and said don’t kill Islamic terrorist leaders because they want to be martyrs. (For details on Ellison’s horrendous record, see: “ZOA: Don’t Appoint Israel-Basher Cong. Keith Ellison Chair of the Democratic National Committee,” Nov. 18, 2016.)

Would Hadassah and the Conservative movement be silent if Ellison were running for Chair of the Republican National Committee? ZOA surely would not just as we speak out against him now.

Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News has been a great ally in ZOA’s and Jewish students’ efforts to combat anti-Semitism at City University of New York (CUNY) and other universities. At CUNY, vicious Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) demonstrators screamed “Intifada! Intifada! Death to the Jews!” at Jewish students. When Mr. Bannon heard this, Mr. Bannon instructed his reporters to contact and urge CUNY officials and New York Governor Cuomo to take action to stop the anti-Semitism at CUNY.”

Mr. Bannon opened an entire Breitbart News Jerusalem bureau (whose symbol is a blue and white “B” and Jewish star) to combat the “overwhelming anti-Israel sentiment in Western media.” Breitbart News also wrote: “Israel is the lone democracy in the most tumultuous region in the world, yet most of the American press portrays the small country as morally equivalent–if not morally inferior–to those who seek to destroy it.” (“Breitbart News Continues International Expansion With Launch Of Breitbart Jerusalem,” Nov. 17, 2015.)

Mr. Bannon’s Breitbart News articles are at the forefront, helping the Jewish people today. Mr. Bannon and his Breitbart News support Israel; combat anti-Semitism; combat anti-Semitic boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS); write about the human cost of anti-Semitism (including the pain felt by a Jewish student who found a swastika painted on her dorm door); expose the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s falsehoods and incitement of terror against the Jewish people; and expose Iran’s violations of the Iran nuclear deal. (See “ZOA Criticizes ADL for Falsely Alleging Trump Advisor Bannon is Anti-Semitic,” for references to many such Breitbart articles.)

So what is going on here? The falsehood that Mr. Bannon is ‘anti-Semitic” appears to have started with a false (later retracted) statement by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

ZOA spoke in favor of Mr. Bannon from its own experience, and from the experience of people we know who know Mr. Bannon well, and based on ZOA’s detailed analysis of Breitbart articles. In addition to confirming that Mr. Bannon and Breitbart’s fight against anti-Semitism, we also found that Breitbart’s staff criticizes – and does not support –despicable “alt right” white supremacists, and racists.

Orthodox Jewish pro-Israel writer Joel B. Pollak – who worked with Mr. Bannon for six years and knows him well – wrote that Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.” (“Stephen K. Bannon: Friend of the Jewish People, Defender of Israel,” by Joel B. Pollak, Nov 14, 2016.)

Staunch liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz also defended Mr. Bannon, noting that he has “not seen any evidence of personal anti-Semitism on the part of Bannon” and that the claims that Mr. Bannon was anti-Semitic “demeaned the term ‘anti-Semitism.” (“Liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz Defends Bannon,” Nov. 15, 2016.) Dennis Prager said, “You are living through a leftwing lie as it is hatched. It’s an amazing moment to see. There is not a shred of evidence that Bannon is an anti-semite.”

Faced with such overwhelming evidence, the ADL quietly walked back its initial accusation, and now the ADL states: “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.” (See “Anti-Defamation League Backs Down: ‘We Are Not Aware of Any Anti-Semitic Statements from Bannon,” by Joel B. Pollak, Nov. 17, 2016, which also described how, sadly the ADL has continued to smear Mr. Bannon with other falsehoods.)

Unfortunately, it appears that while the truth was “still putting on its boots,” the falsehoods about Mr. Bannon spread, resulting in the Conservative Judaism Movement issuing a statement wrongly accusing Mr. Bannon of “anti-Semitism” and “white nationalism,” and a Hadassah campaign against Mr. Bannon that wrongly equates opposing Mr. Bannon to “combatting anti-Semitism” and strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

ZOA urges the Conservative Judaism Movement and Hadassah to immediately discontinue their false misguided, hurtful campaigns against a great ally and friend of Israel and the Jewish people.

Zionist Organization of America

Bannon Skips ZOA Event to Avoid Protesters

Monday, November 21st, 2016

President-Elect Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon did not attend the Zionist Organization of America annual gala Sunday, where he had been scheduled to speak, blaming the hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the NY Grand Hyatt hotel event, CBS News reported.

ZOA President Mort Klein told JTA that Bannon had initiated the appearance. “He asked us to come, we never invited him,” Klein stated, adding, “Of course, an important guy like him says he wants to come, I say yes.”

Last week, Klein rebuked ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt for his attack on Bannon that accused him of racism and anti-Semitism. “The ZOA welcomes the appointment of Stephen Bannon as chief strategist to the incoming Trump/Pence administration,” Klein wrote on his organization’s website. “We wish Mr. Bannon every success in his new position.” Klein then urged Greenblatt and the ADL “to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”

The protest outside the Grand Hyatt was organized by leftwing extremist Jewish group IfNotNow, which promises on its website: “We will be the generation that ends our community’s support for the occupation.” By “occupation,” they mean, of course, Jewish life east of the 1949 armistice border, which was liberated by Israel in 1967. Police removed  the protesters, who continued their protest in a local park.

Incidentally, the IfNotNow website declares: “We are grounded in the values of the Jewish tradition,” but mentions not once a reference to Jewish practice, God, or even Jewish solidarity. The values it appears to espouse are political action against fellow Jews. But then the same website also states: “We participate in the Jewish practice of teshuva (repentance). We value intention and action more than we do correct language. We will make mistakes. We will reflect. We will ask for forgiveness and offer it as we build deep trusting relationships.” So there’s still hope.

Meanwhile, according to the Jerusalem Post, Professor Alan Dershowitz, who had defended Bannon against accusations of anti-Semitism, was booed during his ZOA speech, for reminding the audience that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote, and that therefore the US presidential contest “was a tie election, that one person won the electoral and one person won the popular vote.”

So there’s room for a lot of tshuva to go around.

JNi.Media

ZOA Head Wants ADL’s Greenblatt to Apologize to Bannon

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released a statement saying “it is painful to see Anti-Defamation League (ADL) president Jonathan Greenblatt engaging in character assassination against President-elect Trump’s appointee Stephen Bannon and Mr. Bannon’s company, Breitbart media. ADL/Greenblatt essentially accused Mr. Bannon and his media company of ‘anti-Semitism’ and Israel hatred, when Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL tweeted that Bannon ‘presided over the premier website of the ‘alt right’ – a loose-knit group of white nationalists and anti-Semites.’”

But Klein insists that, as pro-Israel writer (who happens to be an orthodox Jew) Joel B. Pollak wrote, Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.”

According to Klein, ZOA’s experience and analysis of Breitbart articles confirm Bannon’s and Breitbart’s “friendship and fair-mindedness towards Israel and the Jewish people. To accuse Mr. Bannon and Breitbart of anti-Semitism is Orwellian.” He cites cases in wich Breitbart fought against anti-Semitism:

Bannon joined ZOA in fighting the anti-Semitic rallies at CUNY, a Breitbart reporters called CUNY officials and Gov. Cuomo aides urging them to do something about it.

Breitbart regularly publishes articles reporting that the Palestinian Authority defames Israel with blatant falsehoods.  On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that “the Palestinian Authority’s official TV network has been airing a video several times a day baselessly accusing Israel of poisoning former PA President Yasser Arafat and further claiming that Israel is targeting current President Mahmoud Abbas next.  Arafat died at the age of 75 on November 11, 2004, just outside of Paris. A French forensic team examined his remains and concluded that there were no traces of poison in his body.  Nevertheless, every year around the anniversary of his death, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel murdered him.”

On November 14, 2016 Breitbart reported the human cost and pain to a Jewish student at the New School of finding a swastika scrawled on her dorm room door.

Breitbart publicizes Iran’s violations of the nuclear deal – which pose an existential threat to Israel.  On November 13, 2016, Breitbart reported that “despite a finding published by the UN’s atomic energy agency this week that Iran has — for the second time — stockpiled more heavy water than permitted under the terms of the nuclear agreement it reached with six world powers last year, the US State Department is declining to acknowledge this as a violation of the deal.

Breitbart also reports sympathetically on the scourge of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).  On November 2, 2016, Breitbart reported that “reports of anti-Semitic incidents on US college campuses have increased, much of it attributed to the rise of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.”

Klein declared the ZOA is urging “Jonathan Greenblatt/ADL to withdraw and apologize for their inappropriate character assassination of Mr. Bannon and Breitbart Media.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/zoa-head-wants-adls-greenblatt-to-apologize-to-bannon/2016/11/15/

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