Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein issued the following statement :
On November 2, 2016 – the 99th anniversary of the date the Balfour Declaration was issued, and the 118th anniversary of the date when Zionist leader Theodore Herzl climbed the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and envisioned that Jewish communities would again live and cover with greenery the then-barren hills surrounding Jerusalem – the World Zionist Congress (WZC) Vaad Hapoel of the WZO voted to approve a strong anti-BDS resolution proposed by the ZOA slate to the World Zionist Congress. The anti-BDS resolution commits the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and related entities to opposing and combatting BDS “in all its forms, including opposing and combatting BDS against Jewish institutions and academic and cultural institutions, and Jewish/Israeli individual, artists and academics in Israel, in territories controlled by Israel, and around the world.” The adopted resolution is reprinted in full at the end of this article.
The ZOA slate to the World Zionist Congress, led by ZOA President Morton Klein and Vice Chair Dr. Alan Mazurek, M.D., initially proposed anti-BDS resolutions at the full 525-person World Zionist Congress that met in October last year (2015). ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. represented ZOA in the 90 minute debate that led to approval of a modified draft resolution in an 80-person committee meeting at the 2015 Congress.
The resolution then went to the World Zionist Congress presidium for review, and then the resolution came before the 100-plus person representative World Zionist Congress Vaad Hapoel last week for two separate final approval votes. The first vote concerned whether territories (Judea and Samaria) would be included in the resolution, and the second vote was for approval of the entire resolution. ZOA’s Liz Berney (who spoke first), World Likud Chairman Yaakov Hagoel, Labor representative and former Labor Knesset member Ms. Masha Lubetsky and others spoke to the assembly, urging adoption of the resolution and inclusion of Judea and Samaria. We won both votes, which was greeted by loud cheers.
The ZOA wishes to thank the many people who made the passage of this important anti-BDS resolution possible, including: • the thousands of people who voted for the ZOA slate to the World Zionist Congress last year; • ZOA’s delegates and observers who attended the 2015 WZC (delegates Morton Klein; Dr. Alan Mazurek, M.D.; ZOA Florida Executive Director Sharona Whisler; Liz Berney, Esq.; Russell Feder; Murray Mizrachi; Isaac Sutton; Steve Orlow, Esq.; and observers Kevin Ross, Susan Orlow and ZOA Israel office director Jeff Daube, everyone nominated to the ZOA slate, including officials from many wonderful organizations along with ZOA.
Here is the adopted resolution:
The Zionist Congress XXXVII hereby resolves:
- That is shall be the policy of the Zionist Congress, the WZO, the Zionist General Council, and the Inner and Outer Executive, and to recommend to our representatives in Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL), and all Zionist Enterprises, the Zionist World Unions, and all other entities described in the WZO Constitution, to oppose and combat BDS in all its forms
- Including opposing and combating BDS against Jewish businesses and academic and cultural institutions and Jewish/Israeli individuals, artists and academics in Israel, in territories controlled by Israel, and around the world.