ZOA Letter in The Forward About ZOA National Dinner
ZOA in the news
January 6, 2010

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Letters


Published January 06, 2010, issue of January 15, 2010



Article Overlooked ZOA Dinner’s Spirit


I was surprised that your article about the Zionist Organization of America’s national dinner omitted important aspects of the event and misrepresented others (“From the Right: ZOA Faithful Challenge Israelis on Freeze,” December 25).


For example, the article made no mention of the keynote speech by House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, who spoke powerfully about the question of when will it become too late to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Your article also didn’t mention Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s moving description (delivered via video) of the ZOA as an organization that “refuses to compromise on the truth regardless of prevailing fashion and no matter what the costs may be.”


While mentioning that the ZOA opposes a Palestinian state, the article failed to note that we take this position because the Palestinian Authority hasn’t ended incitement against Israel in their schools and media and refuses to arrest terrorists. And instead of inaccurately stating that I dismissed Palestinian claims to the West Bank, your article should have noted that I only made the legal case for Israelis’ right to live in the West Bank, citing the views of major legal scholars.


It is also troubling that your article ignored the fact that Israel’s vice prime minister, Moshe Ya’alon, was given a standing ovation by the 700 attendees. Instead, you conspicuously cited a few people who yelled out for several seconds when Ya’alon discussed the settlement freeze.


Finally, your article did not convey the tremendous spirit at the ZOA dinner, which was perhaps the most inspiring we’ve ever hosted, as was noted to me by many attendees. Among the luminaries in attendance were a former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Seymour Reich; the conference’s executive vice chairman, Malcolm Hoenlein; Hadassah’s national president, Nancy Falchuk; the president of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Martin Gross; and a former executive director the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Neal Sher. Attendance by such a diverse group of major Jewish leaders illustrates the unity Jews feel when it comes to supporting Israel.


Morton A. Klein
President
Zionist Organization of America
New York, N.Y.

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