Posted by: Morton A. Klein
May 1, 2018
ZOA in the news

Letter in JPost Defends ZOA Against Rabbi Shmuley’s False Critique

Letters, April 23 2018

The ZOA on Boteach 

Shmuley Boteach demands that American Jewish leaders must support all Israel government policies (“When American Jewish leaders go off the reservation,” No Holds Barred, April 10).

Is Boteach proud to have supported the Oslo Accords, which led to the murder of 1,500 Jews and the maiming of many thousands more, and the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, which led to 20,000 Hamas rockets and the forced removal of thousands of Jews from their homes? Is he proud to have supported the offers of then-prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert for Palestinian statehood on 95% of Judea and Samaria and large parts of Jerusalem? 

The Zionist Organization of America can never support Israeli government policies that it strongly believes to be dangerously mistaken. Time, painfully, has proven us right.

Rabbi Boteach is also critical of American Jewish leaders who were invited to make a 14-hour trip to Qatar to meet the emir and other top officials. I presented the ZOA’s policy concerns and its pro-Israel, anti-terrorism agenda. (Contrary to Boteach’s false speculations, my trip was unanimously approved by the ZOA Executive Committee and I have been democratically elected by the ZOA membership numerous times since I defeated the incumbent in 1993.) Several top Israeli officials also urged me to go.

Some of my pro-Israel objectives have been attained: While much more needs to be done, Qatar canceled an undercover antisemitic TV series on the “US Israel lobby.” It also agreed to remove antisemitic literature from the upcoming Doha book fair. These are important gains for the Jewish people that could not have happened without my direct, round-the-clock, exhaustive talks with the emir of Qatar and other top officials.

(Recently, President Donald Trump publicly proclaimed that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had stopped funding terrorism.)  It is clearer than ever that the ZOA was right to have opposed the Oslo and Gaza deals, and Barak and Olmert’s statehood offers. I wish Boteach and others would have joined our efforts, which would have reduced Jewish bloodshed and the world’s support for the Palestinian Arabs’ vile ambitions.

MORTON A. KLEIN 

New York 

The writer is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.

This letter was published by JPost and may be found here.