In addition to our official comments about the event last week with Republican Congressmen and Dani Dayan in DC (see Josh London’s blog adjacent to this), we wanted to add a personal observation.
We have both seen Mort speak many times in both large and small groups, and as all of you know, he is always impressive. At this event, Mort surpassed his usual benchmark and made us both very proud to be part of the same organization. He only spoke for a few minutes, but the impact of his remarks was really decisive. Congressional staff who had been on the verge of falling asleep only moments before were literally sitting on the edge of their seats and really listening to Mort’s points. The actual delivery had a cadence and fluency that was compelling, while the content was truly informative.
The impact on the Congressmen was also beyond dispute. As we note in the memo, Mort used the posters Fatah has commissioned as object lessons in how our enemies have refused to consider moderation in their approach to the conflict. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen asked for copies of the Fatah Posters and Rep. Franks intends to quote Mort’s remarks on the floor of the House. Mort also addressed incitement and Holocaust denial with his characteristic vigor.
It is part of our jobs to attend many meetings such as this in the course of representing ZOA in our nation’s capital. The meeting’s range from informative to frankly, repetitive and sometimes fail to bring new facts to the discussion. Our organization is very fortunate to have a National President who really is a presence when he visits DC. Mort demonstrated last week why we are both happy to forgo more lucrative opportunities elsewhere in order to follow his leadership. ZOA under Mort Klein is different from other Jewish organizations, and we got to see that difference in action last week.