Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
On Monday evening, at AIPAC’s invitation, Donald Trump presented his views on the Arab war against Israel at AIPAC’s policy conference. It is innappropriate that AIPAC’s leaders then turned around the next morning and condemned Trump’s appropriate criticism of President Obama’s anti-Israel policies. It was also disgraceful that AIPAC’s leaders chastised the rank-and-file AIPAC audience for cheering Trump’s well-justified condemnation of President Obama.
Trump was asked to present his views on the current situation affecting Israel. Trump wasn’t asked to present AIPAC’s opinion in the way that AIPAC wanted. Everyone understands that speeches given at such a conference are the personal beliefs of the speaker — not AIPAC’s. It was ludicrous and wrong for AIPAC to have publicly taken issue with wholly justified concerns of Obama’s policies toward Israel.
Standing before the entire AIPAC conference, AIPAC president Lillian Pinkus tearfully delivered the following unprecedented statement, alongside AIPAC Chairman Robert A. Cohen, CEO Howard Kohr, and Vice CEO Richard Fishman, condemning Trump’s view and characterizing criticism of President Obama as ‘divisive’:
“…We deeply respect the office of the President of the United States and our President, Barack Obama. We are disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with nor condone…”
Predumably, AIPAC’s leaders were referring to Mr. Trump’s statement, cheered by the crowd. Trump proclaimed:
“With President Obama in his final year — yay! He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me, believe me. And you know it, and you know it better than anybody.”
AIPAC’s leaders should apologize to Mr. Trump.
As ZOA has repeatedly documented, President Obama’s actions have indeed been extremely harmful towards America and Israel. See a long list of Obama’s harmful actions here. In addition, just in the past few months:
Obama questioned maintaining the cornerstone of Israel’s security, or Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) – despite US law requiring the US to assure Israel’s QME (March 2016).
Obama threatened Israel with isolation and non-support, and praised PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas during a Bloomberg interview, ignoring Abbas’ incitement of attacks on innocent Israelis (March 2, 2015).
Obama singled out the pro-Israel portion of the trade bill for condemnation (Feb 2016) and issued an anti-Israel labeling requirement on January 23, 2016.
Obama promoted the Palestinian Arab agenda during his anti-Semitism speech (Jan. 27, 2016).
Obama’s terrorism speech intimidated Americans into silence about suspicious radical Muslim activity (Dec. 2015).
Obama illegally attempted to send $160 million plus $76 million annual payments (from our American tax dollars) to anti-Israel UNESCO (Dec. 2015).
Obama falsely blamed Israel for committing violence, and for incitement and changing the Temple Mount’s status quo (Oct. 16, 2019).
Obama’s administration slandered Israel by pretending that deaths of Palestinian Arabs terrorists in the midst of attacking Israelis were deliberate attacks on Palestinian Arabs (Oct. 7, 2015).
In holiday messages, Obama lectured Jews while praising Muslims (Sept. 2015).
The Obama administration helped the PLO terrorist group and Palestinian Authority in a terrorism lawsuit in the Southern District of New York federal court, after a jury found the PLO and PA liable for millions of dollars in damages for their role in several terrorist attacks in Israel — that resulted in the murder and maiming of innocent American citizens (August 2015).
AIPAC’s Leaders Should Speak Out Against the Real “Divisive” Remarks, by Sec’y Clinton and Sen. Sanders:
If AIPAC’s leaders are concerned about “divisiveness,” why did AIPAC’s leaders remain silent about the troubling, divisive aspects of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Monday morning AIPAC speech? Secretary Clinton openly declared to the conference attendees that we have ‘differences’, then praised the Iran deal (which AIPAC, ZOA and all credible pro-Israel organizations fought against), and blasted Israeli settlements (Jewish towns and villages in historical Jewish lands) as ‘damaging’.
Also, why did AIPAC’s leaders remain silent about Senator Bernie Sanders’ Middle East Policy speech, given in Utah the same day as the AIPAC policy conference? In his outrageously divisive speech, Sanders praised the Iran deal, falsely condemned Israel for “occupation of Palestinian territory,” demanded that Israel “pull back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza” (ignoring the fact that Israel’s evacuation of every Jew from Gaza was an absolute disaster that has already subjected innocent Israeli civilians to tens of thousands of rocket attacks from now, Hamas-run, Gaza). Adding further insult to injury, Sanders called Israel’s necessary response to Hamas’s rocket attacks “disproportionate.” Sanders falsely grossly overstated the numbers of civilians killed in Gaza, and ignored Israel’s extraordinary efforts to avoid harming civilians –- while Hamas deliberately used civilians as human shields.