Harold Goldmeier’s article on the World Zionist Congress elections, “Making the WZO Relevant Again,” falsely claims that the Zionist Organization of America filed election complaints to disqualify slates that “even merely favor” a Palestinian state or take positions that are “not to ZOA’s liking.”
Although the ZOA is opposed to a terrorist Palestinian Arab state, it never sought to disqualify any slate for supporting a Palestinian Arab state.
The ZOA only filed to disqualify one slate — the so-called “Hatikvah slate” — because its constituent members promote discriminatory boycotts, divestment and sanctions, which is a violation of the World Zionist Organization’s fundamental anti-discrimination membership requirements.
The Hatikvah slate’s constituent organizations and organizational leaders promote boycotts and/or sanctions as follows:
1. Partners for a Progressive Israel (a major member of the Hatikvah slate) promotes discriminatory boycotts against Jewish Israeli businesses in 170 industries in Jerusalem, Hebron, Ariel, Efrat, Maaleh Adumim, etc., right on its website. Partners for a Progressive Israel’s Chairman Theodore Bikel also promotes cultural/artistic boycotts including boycotting the new Israeli-Jewish arts facility in Ariel.
2. Ameinu (another major member of the Hatikvah slate) lobbies U.S. and European governments to impose severe financial and visa sanctions on Jewish Israeli government officials with whom Ameinu disagrees. Ameinu’s top officials also double as J Street officials or are tied closely to J Street, which engages in extensive de facto promotion of BDS.
3. “Open Hillel” (whose leaders are on the Hatikvah slate) is a confusingly named group that tries to force the well-known long-time campus organization Hillel International to provide platforms to promote the global BDS movement, and to bring in speakers that promote Israel’s destruction. “Open Hillel” was formed in 2012 to attempt to abolish Hillel International’s “Standards of Partnership,” which reasonably prohibit Hillel facilities from hosting organizations that promote BDS against Israel. “Open Hillel” is working together with the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic hate group Students for Justice in Palestine to promote BDS and hatred against Jews and Israel. SJP members have violently attacked Jewish students on college campuses.
4. Americans for Peace Now (whose leaders are on the Hatikvah slate) openly promotes boycotts of Jewish Israeli businesses in east Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.
5. The New Israel Fund (whose leaders are on the Hatikvah slate) spent large sums of money erecting the BDS infrastructure, and continues to fund BDS groups and their co-conspirators. NIF grantees Adalah, B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence also provided the false information to Judge Richard Goldstone that formed the basis of the false (and since discredited) Goldstone report accusing Israel of war crimes. The BDS movement uses the false Goldstone report as one of its chief weapons to promote BDS against Israel. The “U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel” has a web page entitled “Sections of Goldstone Report Very Useful for BDS and Related Campaigns.”
The NIF also funds groups that hire Arabs to viciously confront Israeli soldiers with ugly personal provocations against them, their families and Israel. There are always cameras filming these episodes, so that on the rare occasion when a young soldier responds strongly, the cameras film and disseminate the response out of context, without showing the preceding provocation or the rarity of such responses. This is done to try to harm the humane IDF’s reputation, and promote BDS against Israel.
6. J Street (whose leaders are on the Hatikvah slate) promotes, honors, and gives major platforms to the leaders of the global BDS movement (including Mustafa Barghouti) at its national conferences and brings top BDS leaders to college campuses. J Street also promotes BDS on J Street’s website video.
Moreover, the World Zionist Congress and State of Israel were founded in part exactly to prevent such anti-Jewish boycotts and discrimination. Theodore Herzl repeatedly wrote that boycotts of Jewish businesses were one of the types of anti-Jewish persecution that required the existence of a Jewish state. In his famous book, “The Jewish State,” Herzl wrote: “No one can deny the gravity of the situation of the Jews. Wherever they live in perceptible numbers, they are more or less persecuted. Their equality before the law, granted by statute, has become practically a dead letter … and attempts are made to thrust them out of business also: ‘Don’t buy from Jews.'”
The ZOA also pointed out that the Hatikvah slate is engaging in false election advertising, by falsely stating on its official website platform that it works to “combat” the BDS movement. This statement is the exact opposite of what the Hatikvah slate members actually do.
The ZOA is running a stellar slate of America’s leading Jewish activists in the World Zionist Congress election. The ZOA slate is dedicated to: rescuing Jews endangered by global anti-Semitism; combatting BDS; ensuring a strong secure Israel and undivided Jerusalem; defending Jewish rights to live in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria; fighting against a terrorist Hamas-Fatah-Palestinian-Arab state; opposing sending U.S. tax dollars to the Hamas-Fatah regime; exposing the truth about the Arab war against Israel; promoting Zionist and Jewish education; and freeing Jonathan Pollard. The ZOA’s Defend Jews and Israeli Rights slate includes leaders of the ZOA, Stand With Us, Sephardic Community Alliance, NORPAC, Eye on the U.N., Americans for Peace and Tolerance, JCCWatch; Israel Bonds, Americans for a Safe Israel; CAMERA activists, and others including a former U.S. congressman, best selling authors, prominent rabbis, physicians and attorneys, and student leaders.
Morton Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Elizabeth Berney is director of special projects at the ZOA.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom and may be found here.