he national president of the Zionist Organization of America is visiting local synagogues this weekend.
Morton Klein is scheduled to spend a Shabbat weekend at Temple Menorah, 620 75th St. in Miami Beach, where on Jan. 8 he will speak in a talk titled, “The Lies Against Israel,” during a Shabbat dinner after the 5:30 p.m. services. Dinner is $20 for synagogue members and $25 for non-members. RSVP for the dinner by calling 305-866-0221. The next morning at 11 a.m. on Jan. 9, Klein will speak about “Arab Myths About Jerusalem.” This event is free and open to the public. Klein is also scheduled to speak at Palm Beach Synagogue, 120 N. County Road, at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10. Call the synagogue at 561-838-9002 for more information on Sunday’s event.
When asked in a phone interview what he hopes attendees can take away from his discussions, Klein said: “I want them to gain knowledge that they can use in discussions with their friends, families and neighbors and I also want to give them confidence that Israel is in the right on all these issues.”
Sharona Whisler, executive director for ZOA’s Florida Region, noted: “Even before I started working for ZOA, I recognized Mort Klein as one of the most powerful speakers on Israel and the Middle East. I learn something new whenever I hear him speak and come away with insights that help me be a better advocate for Israel.”
“What always impresses me most is the conviction and honesty Mr. Klein conveys throughout his talks,” Whisler added. “With the terrifying realities facing Israel and the Jewish people today, it is more important than ever we hear from a leader who is not afraid to tell difficult truths.”
Rabbi Moshe Scheiner of Palm Beach Synagogue said: “We host Morton Klein’s annual visit to our synagogue every year and we see it as our annual State of Israel Union Address. He always offers us insights and clarity on issues that are often colored and clouded in the media, so we’re looking forward to his visit.”
Rabbi Eliot Pearlson of Temple Menorah said Klein “defines the decisive description of a leader.”
“Temple Menorah is so honored that Mr. Klein and ZOA has chosen our synagogue for their organization’s inaugural Shabbaton,” Pearlson noted. “A person that wants to be best apprised of issues of concern to the Jewish community should definitely attend this weekend’s presentations.”
Among the several topics that Klein will speak about during his “The Lies About Israel” talk is what he believes is the myth of occupation.
“That’s the biggest myth,” Klein said. “Israel has given away almost half – 42 percent – of Judea and Samaria (official Israeli phrase for the West Bank, but excluding East Jerusalem). That’s where the Arabs run their own lives. They have their own parliament, their own schools, their own police force. They run everything except security. The only thing that Israel does in those areas is to root out terror cells that are planning terror attacks against Israel. There is no occupation.”
During his “Arab Myths about Jerusalem” talk, Klein is going to explain what he believes is a myth that Jerusalem is holy for Muslims.
“I’m going to explain and prove it’s not holy to Muslims,” Klein said. “If in fact Jerusalem really was holy to the Muslim community, then you have to make some sort of understanding, but their holy Quran never mentions the word Jerusalem once. The Jewish holy books mention Jerusalem 700 times. In two Jewish holidays, we pray that we come back to Jerusalem eventually, and every day we mention Jerusalem in our holy Jewish prayers 20 times a day literally.”
However, Sharif Elhosseiny, president of Islamic Center of Palm Beach, said in a phone interview: “Muslims never claim cities holy for ourselves. All of this is God’s land, so Jerusalem is a city that for centuries, Muslims, Jews and Christians all have been living together.”
Elhosseiny noted that a verse in Chapter 17 of the Quran makes reference to the land of Jerusalem and he also mentioned that the third holiest site in Islam, Al-Aqsa Mosque, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem.
This article was published by the Sun-Sentinel and may be found here.