Many hundreds of strong and proud ZOA activists from 26 states across the country, from California and Arizona, to Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Texas, Florida, DC, Virginia, Maryland, and more participated in the Zionist Organization of America’s annual Pro-Israel Advocacy Mission to Washington D.C. on Tuesday, April 28th. These committed Zionist activists met with almost 100 members of Congress or their staffers.
1) They urged their Senators to support S.615, the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, introduced by Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and thanked the 53 co-sponsors of this legislation. This Bill allows Congress to review and vote on any final Iran Nuclear Deal and vote before sanctions are lifted against Iran.
2) They urged their House Members to pass H.R. TBD, companion to S.615 to be introduced by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
3) They urged all members to cut all $440 Million per Year in funding to the PA until they fulfill their written commitments, to end incitement in their schools, media and speeches, to outlaw terror groups, to end their alliance with Hamas, to arrest terrorists, to stop paying pensions to Jew killers and their families, specifically to reward them for their monstrous atrocities, to put Israel on their maps, and to accept Israel and a Jewish State.
At ZOA’s spectacular luncheon, held prior to congressional meetings in a magnificent Baronial Chamber in the Russell Senate Office Building, ZOA activists were joined and interacted with numerous Democratic and Republican US Senators, House Members, and two top Mideast Policy analysts from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and American Values.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “It is so inspiring to the ZOA and our delegates to hear these fabulous, pro-Israel speeches by the most important Members of Congress, which included ranking members of both the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees and a presidential candidate. One delegate after another made it clear to me that they were thrilled to spend a day in their lives fighting for Israel, for strong U.S./Israel relations, and educating Members of Congress about the truth about the on-going Arab war against Israel, which seeks Israel’s destruction, not any sort of negotiated settlement.”
“This year the most critical issue facing Israel, the United States, and the world is the catastrophic horror of the Islamic Republic of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. But not only that, this deal will provide Iran with $100 billion per year in additional revenues from sanctions relief which will be used to fund and arm increased Islamic terrorism against Israel, Christians, and the United States and Europe. After all, Iran is the largest sponsor of Islamic terrorism today. Shockingly, this deal actually funds today’s Hitler, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. Tragically, President Obama has absolutely refused to link this deal with Iran ending terrorism and Iran ending calls for America’s and Israel’s destruction.”
Below is a sampling of comments by some of our speakers:
Senator Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, Presidential Candidate
“I don’t think every war is the answer, but I would have been involved before 9/11 and certainly wanted to go after Bin Laden afterward. I introduced a declaration of war against ISIS. These people that surround Israel are not people we should be giving weapons to. The response we get from Iran – if we can’t even agree upon what we are trying to agree upon – that gives me pause. Shouldn’t there be a discussion about terrorism and ballistic missiles too? The president said when asked if he expects Iran to end their sponsorship of terrorism: “Well, they probably still are going to participate in terrorism.” Thank you for having the guts to have a strong organization that says you shouldn’t be sending money to Palestinian terrorists.”
Senator Ben Cardin, D-Maryland
Ranking member of Foreign Relations Committee of Senate.
“We are seeing a growing amount of acts by citizens of anti-Semitism all across Europe. I am glad to say that the Senate Finance committee approved the Trade bill to make sure that none of the European countries support BDS. We have a chance to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state and we must stay focused on that objective.”
Senator Mark Kirk, R-Illinois
“We need to make sure the state of Israel survives, to assure continued bipartisan consensus against Nuclear Iran.”
Senator Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin
“Negotiations with Iran were lost before they began. When you start a negotiation to relax sanctions what is there left to negotiate? If you are going to weaponize your nuclear program, you do it on your military bases, but we are not allowed to inspect those. Snap-back is impossible – hundreds of billions of dollars will have been invested in businesses in Iran. There is no peaceful nuclear program. The Iranians want a weapon to wack the region and wack the world.”
Senator Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska
“Obama aspires to see Iran become a successful regional player – but why would we want them to be successful? They are sworn to the destruction of Israel and America. There can be no nuclear Iran. Iran should have zero centrifuges! We always had a treaty process that takes two branches of government. There is no reason to abandon this. A president is not like the king. If you think this you don’t get the American system of government. An Iran treaty needs 67 votes because this is a bilateral long-term policy and it is based on consensus.”
Congressman Brad Sherman, D-California
“So happy to be here with Mort Klein because this last decade Mort was there to see me walk down the aisle with my beautiful bride, and he also watched me walk down the aisles of Congress escorting PM of Israel Netanyahu to speak last month. I declared the Iranian nuclear program the number one threat facing the security of the US. According to this deal, Iran gets its hands on hundreds of billions of dollars. You can only imagine what they will do with it. Sure a little chunk will go to their people, and then the rest will go to terrorists and militias. Why don’t we have our US embassy in the national capital of Jerusalem? Anti-Semitism is not only in Europe but here on our campuses, Title VI of the Civil Rights act now applies to discrimination against Jews based on a bill I introduced.”
Congressman Ted Poe, R-Texas
“We have a game in Texas we play called Texas hold’em. Iran is the cool player. The P5+1 got nervous and folded. Iran will get the pay-off in ten years with the nuke. The West has been had by this deal. The pot of gold is not gold but nuclear weapons. How in the world can anyone trust the Iranian government? And their mischief is still all over the world – they are in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon – what are they doing there? They are the world’s great sponsor of terrorism. They have their terrorist mischief minions everywhere. We need more sanctions against them.”
Congressmen Mario Diaz – Balart, R-Florida
“I never thought I would see our President meet with Castro for an hour, but have no time to meet with the PM of Israel. I never thought we would see the President criticize the most loyal, the best, most dignified ally we have. I have a deal for Iran it’s very simple. Iran cannot have a nuclear program. These are the people we think we can persuade to become a force of stability in the Middle East? Your presence has never been more crucial, and do not be apologetic. There is evil in this world. And all the evil Iran is doing right now they are doing without nuclear weapons. Imagine what they would do with them? We will not let that happen.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin, R-NY
“My great-grandfather was field director of ZOA under Brandeis. All Republicans are strong in support of Israel. Israel is a beacon of freedom, democracy and liberty in midst of darkness. Our greatest ally all across the world is Israel. Our President needs an almost daily reminder who his friends are, and who are his enemies. Your presence here in DC to be involved in this, is so important – to bring accountability to a weak and inconsistent foreign policy.”
Congressman Louis Gohmert, R-Texas
“These are troubling times. On February 12th the U.S. declassified details of Israel’s alleged nuclear program. In the document the Pentagon reveals supposed details about Israel – but information about France, Germany, etc. remained declassified. This coincided with intense pressure for Netanyahu to cancel his speech. We need to be the best friend that Israel has had. We were the first nation to recognize and independent Israel – that’s the America we need to be.”
Congressman Brendan Boyle D-Pennsylvania
“I am disturbed that the UN is being used as a tool to delegitimize the State of Israel. I sponsored the Holocaust Education bill. The BDS movement compares Israel to an apartheid Africa – this is an absurd and demeaning comparison. Israel is a wonderful dynamic country, and a special place and I am glad to stand with it.”
Gary Bauer, President of American Values
“God said I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you. I read in the Bible that God so loved you that he would bless people like me if I would find a way to stand with you. God doesn’t make false promises. He doesn’t stick his finger out in the air to figure out which way the wind is blowing; he makes the wind blow. We now have leadership in America that attacks Israel. That cursed Israel, so I don’t fear for just Israel; I fear for the US. We are appeasing Iran. Helen Thomas led the White House press core, when asked how to solve the problem in the Middle East, she said send all those Jews back to where they are from in Europe. The land of Israel is where the Jewish people come from. “Go back where you came from,” they spray paint on synagogues in Europe. But isn’t that Israel? They hate you no matter where you are. Anti-Semitism is not about where you are. They want Jews “someplace else.” There is endless tolerance for Jews that are dying and no tolerance for Jews that fight back. There are evil men in other places, men who worship death, who are promising to bring to Jews and Christian sorrows greater than we have already experienced. Mort gets up every day consumed by the duty to stand up and fight it. I believe if we do that, perhaps even one hundred years from now, that the world will be able to look at America and see prosperous stars and stripes and look at Jerusalem and see the united capital of the nation of Israel.”
Dr. Patrick Clausen, Economist and Scholar on Iran at Washington Institute on Near East Policy
“Iran thinks to itself – “Iran is on the march, the US is in retreat, and Israel will soon disappear.” When Iran views world events they see confirmation that what they believe is going to happen. Their brand of Islam, all across the world, is on the march. Iran became Shia to distinguish themselves from other Arabs (Sunni). Then, they can use a religious argument for their national ambitions to dominate the region. When everyone said Assad must go, Iranians said no, and they stood firm with their allies. We didn’t, and they won. These are the people we think we can persuade to become a force of stability in the Middle East?”
Mort Klein thanked the entire ZOA staff for their hard work in making the ZOA’s Advocacy Mission to Washington, D.C. such a success. Mort offered special thanks to Josh London and Dan Pollak, Co-Directors of the ZOA’s Government Relations Department, who were masters of ceremonies at the luncheon event and led the discussion of issues, for all their work in helping to bring this impressive array of Members of Congress to the luncheon. Thanks were also expressed to Executive Director David Drimer, Howard Katzoff, Susan Tuchman, Josh Teplow and the entire ZOA staff for their hard work in making the Mission runs so smoothly.
Mort also recognized Debra Benjamin and Liz Berney for their important input into this release. Thanks were also given to Enid Roman, Lillian Gershowitz, Harriet Bachmann, and Felice Capustin for their great help. ZOA also appreciated advice given by Chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt and Vice-Chair Dr. Alan Mazurek and Vice-Chair Irwin Hochberg and Treasurer Henry Schwartz and Secretary Mark Levenson.