The following is a response by Morton Klein to an article written by J Street’s Director of Communications, which appeared in The Forward.
To the Letters Editor,
The leftwing J Street’s Director of Communications has written a breathtakingly inaccurate and careless screed against ZOA, falsely claiming we are an “ultra partisan” group advocating for Trump which refuses to criticize him.
Yet, your own newspaper’s Nathan Guttman verified this as a phony allegation by writing on May 15 an article entitled “Is Trump Losing Morton Klein” stating that Klein criticized Trump by saying “Trump will have to explain all these hostile statements toward Israel.” These included ZOA’s criticizing a Trump administration official claiming that the Western Wall is “not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank;” inviting Abbas to the White House; and appointing Israel critics James Mattis and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State respectively.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Times of Israel on May 23rd published an article by JTA’s Ron Kampeas opening with the sentence “ZOA last week launched two broadsides against the Trump administration… the ZOA… slammed President Trump for retreating from his pledge to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem and attacked the appointment of Kris Baumann, a veteran Obama administration negotiator” who is hostile to Israel.
ZOA has also criticized Trump’s original executive order as “excessive and ill-conceived.” We opposed his recertification of Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal and criticized his statement on the Holocaust. We’ve recently called for Tillerson’s resignation, for National Security Adviser General McMaster to be reassigned, and criticized his appointment of David Satterfield as Mideast Director.
And ZOA publicly stated that “no one, including president Trump… should ever equate the horrors of murderous Nazis, from whom my own family suffered unspeakable crimes,[I am a child of Holocaust survivors] with other vicious anti semitic, anti Black racist haters and hate groups.”
ZOA was also falsely accused of running ads that Democrats are bad for Jews. We never ever ran such ads. ZOA is non partisan. We’ve criticized President Bush, Republicans Colin Powell and Condi Rice as well as president Obama and John Kerry, and president Trump. We are not pro-Republican or pro-Democrat – ZOA is pro-Israel. We hope that J Street will get their facts straight in the future.
Morton A Klein
President, Zionist Organization of America