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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘ZOA’

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

ZOA Praises Federations for Lifting Ban on Visiting Judea/Samaria

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the umbrella organization which includes the Council of Jewish Federations, the United Jewish Appeal and the United Israel Appeal, for ending a 50-year old ban on permitting its representatives to conduct official visits to Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria. Six hundred thousand Jews live on just 2% of the entire Judea/Samaria area. Forty percent of this area has been given to the Palestinian Authority and they have full autonomy there. Israel continues to be involved in security operations in Judea/Samaria because of continued Palestinian Arab terrorism against Jews.

Following a meeting this week, the decision was made to lift the ban, which will enable not only visits to Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria, but to Arab cities and townships as well.

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “We applaud the JFNA for making this sensible and principled decision.

We urge all Jewish groups like AIPAC and others to begin to visit the Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria, as well.

“It was an absurd anomaly that Jewish officials from across America can go to Israel but were uniquely insulated from meeting with, acquainting themselves with, getting to know the Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria.

“The residents of these Jewish communities, living in the historical, biblical land of Israel, are every bit Israeli citizens as their fellow citizens within the Green Line. They serve in the army; they pay their taxes; they contribute to the national economy.

“Indeed, they suffer for living on Israel’s front line, enabling Israel to guard defensible frontiers, which the 1949 armistice lines never were.

“Jews have a moral and legal right to live in Judea/Samaria, stemming from the 1920 San Remo settlement that earmarked this territory for Jewish settlement and which has never been superseded by an internationally-binding agreement.

“Indeed, there is something perverse in the idea that an entire segment of the Israeli Jewish population be off-limits to contacts with their North American Jewish brethren because of where they live, and it is long overdue that this sorry state of affairs has now come to an end.

“Israelis and American Jews will continue to have disagreements on questions of major policy, but conversation on the subject should involve all Israelis.

“We praise the JFNA for making this historic decision. We urge all Jewish groups like AIPAC and others to begin to visit the Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria, as well. Groups that ZOA takes to this part of Israel often tell us it was the best part of their trip. They learn that Judea/Samaria contains real cities, with wonderful Jewish families raising their children.

 

Morton A. Klein

ZOA Condemns UC Berkeley Course on Dismantling Israel

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has condemned the University of California (UC), Berkeley for reinstating an explicitly anti-Israel course dedicating to discussing and seeking ways in which to dismantle Israel, thereby robbing the Jewish people of national self-determination. The ZOA maintains that this would not be done in respect of a course that advocated the dismantlement of any of other country.

The course, entitled, ‘Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,’ examines the history of the region from the 1880s “through the lens of settler colonialism.” The course, in short, simply presumes that Zionism is colonial movement, rather than a national liberation movement. The course aims to “explore the connection between Zionism and settler colonialism, and the ways in which it has manifested, and continues to manifest, in Palestine,” and also examines “the possibilities of a decolonized Palestine” –– i.e, one in which Jewish self-determination and statehood is non-existent.

The course readings consist heavily of anti-Zionist readings from biased, ‘new historians’ like Ilan Pappé and Palestinian activists like Edward Said and so on. It uses materials from NGOs formed specifically for the purpose of defaming Israel with false and unsupported allegations, like ‘Breaking the Silence,’ and includes a reading from the absurdly biased Goldstone Report, appointed by the radically corrupt and biased UN Human Rights Council, whose findings were eventually rejected by its chairman, Judge Goldstone himself.

The course reading materials do not even attempt to present contrary readings and source material from historians and other scholars who do not condemn Zionism.

The course is sponsored by UC’s Hatem Bazian, who is co-founder of the radical anti-Israel movement, Students for Justice in Palestine, which has been intimidating Jewish students and mounting hateful exhibits defaming Israel as an apartheid state. Bazian denounces as “Islamophobes” scholars and activists who focus on radical Muslim groups, like the Middle East Forum and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Bazian denies he is an anti-Semite, but he blocked the appointment of a Jewish student to San Francisco State University’s Student Judicial Council on the grounds that the individual supported the State of Israel and was thus a racist by definition (Abraham H. Miller, ‘UC Berkeley Offers Class in Erasing Jews From Israel, Destroying Jewish State,’ Algemeiner Journal, September 8, 2016).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “This UC course marks a new low in campus anti-Zionism that is perverting academic teaching about the conflict across the country.

“A course advocating dismantling a country would never be offered in respect of any other country. If one were, for example, a course advocating the dismantling of Italy or Peru, no-one would even argue that it was not anti-Italian or anti-Peruvian. Clearly, a double-standard that is permissive where anti-Semitism is concerned is at work and UC Berkeley, by reinstating this course, is enabling anti-Semitism.

“This course at UC brings into the open what is often merely latent –– that courses at universities today that deal with Zionism, Arab nationalism and the history of Israel and the Palestinian Arabs are inherently biased against Zionism and Jewish national rights, regarding Palestinian Arabs as the only group entitled to such things.

“This particular course openly asserts that Zionism is illegitimate –– calling anything today ‘colonialist’ is shorthand for something that must be reversed or destroyed –– and indeed explicitly explores with ways in which the destruction of Israel can be brought about.

“We cannot expect the next generation of American leaders and scholars to understand the basic realities of Israel or the nature of this truly successful, thriving and humane country if courses like this disgraceful one conceived by Hatem Bazian continue to hold unchallenged sway on our college campuses.

“Taking back our universities from the far left, Marxists and other absurdly biased nakedly radical anti-Israel activist ‘scholars’ is a task vital to the future health of America and Israel.”

Morton A. Klein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/zoa-condemns-uc-berkeley-course-on-dismantling-israel/2016/09/21/

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