Zionist Organization of America (“ZOA”) Chair Mark Levenson released the following statement:
On Thursday, July 26, ZOA President Morton A. Klein addressed a large, enthusiastic group of Christian Zionist delegates to the United Nations, about the ongoing Arab/Islamic war against Israel. Mr. Klein was the first speaker to address the newly formed Wallenberg Society, a group of committed Christian Zionist activists headed by former Congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann.
In his address, Mr. Klein explored the phony propaganda issues underlying the anti-Israel BDS movement.
Klein debunked the lie that Israel is an “occupier.” Israel was never sovereign Arab land. There were never Palestinian Arab kings and queens ruling or residing in Judea/Samaria (Palestine). In fact, “Palestine” is a Roman name: the Romans renamed the Jewish homeland of Judea/Samaria when the Romans captured it from the Jews some 2000 years ago. The Romans wanted to de-Judaize this Jewish land by naming it after the Jews’ arch enemy, the Philistines, which morphed into “Palestine.”
Mr. Klein also reviewed the Middle East history of the last 80 years, and cited five times that Palestinian-Arabs have rejected statehood: in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2001, and 2008. Palestinian-Arabs do not want a state if it means recognizing and living in peace with Israel.
Britain had the Mandate for Palestine from 1922 to 1948 – which Britain was required by international law to hold in trust for the reestablishment of the Jewish homeland. However, Britain instead sliced off 78% of Palestine as a gift to King Abdullah, to establish Transjordan (which became Jordan in 1946). Mr. Klein explained that Israel today has retained less than 20% of original Palestine.
As to the issue of Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria (“settlements”), Mr. Klein pointed out that not a single new settlement has been built since 1993, when the Oslo Accords were signed. All of the building that has occurred has been within the existing borders of the Jewish communities established before 1993.
Mr. Klein also brought up the issue that no one talks about: the fact that Jerusalem is not holy to Muslims. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. When the Arabs captured and controlled the eastern portion of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, they allowed it to languish as a slum. No Arab leader other than the Jordanian king even visited it.
Mr. Klein also made it clear that there is no apartheid in Israel: Arabs have the same rights as Jews. Israeli Arabs vote, serve in the Knesset, serve on the Supreme Court, serve as Ambassadors, serve as doctors and surgeons in Israeli hospitals, serve as policemen, serve as government ministers and other high positions, are students in all the universities, etc.
Mr. Klein also reviewed Middle East history of the last 80 years, and cited five times that Palestinian-Arabs have rejected statehood: in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2001, and 2008. Palestinian-Arabs do not want a state if it means recognizing and living in peace with Israel. Arabs never established a state when they controlled eastern Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea/Samaria from 1948-67. Palestinian-Arabs’ real goal is Israel’s destruction.
ZOA’s Levenson Chairs ZOA Meeting With Israeli Minister Akunis
Ofir Akunis, Israel’s Minister of Science, Technology and Space, addressed the ZOA National Board, top officials and friends, at ZOA’s new offices, earlier on the same day as Mr. Klein’s address to Christian Zionist delegates to the United Nations.
ZOA Executive Vice President John Rosen introduced ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. who introduced Minister Akunis, and described Akunis’ distinguished background as a member of Israel’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, a former deputy Minister for Environmental Protection, and media advisor to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Minster Akunis spoke favorably about Israel’s recently passed nation-state Basic Law. The law formally designates Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, where the Jewish people fulfill their natural, cultural, religious and historical right to self-determination – while protecting minorities’ rights. The law also designates Hebrew as Israel’s official language, while giving Arabic special status. Minister Akunis also discussed the next national elections in Israel, which are likely less than a year away. Minister Akunis also spoke about Israel overcoming the serious challenges on its borders and from terror attacks, and spoke optimistically about Israel’s economy and growing relationships with numerous countries around the world.
At both the ZOA meeting and the Christian Zionists meeting ZOA Pres. Mort Klein also elaborated on why ZOA strongly supports Israel’s nation-state Basic Law. It is a basic tenet of Zionism that Israel is the Jewish homeland. The fact that Israel is the Jewish homeland does not detract from Israel’s protection of minority rights: Israel is the best nation in the Mideast for Arabs to live in today. Mr. Klein also noted that the complaints about the status of the Arabic language in Israel are unjustified, because almost as many Israelis speak Russian as speak Arabic – yet Arabic is given special status under the new Basic Law, while Russian is not given any special status. In addition, many Israelis speak English, and yet English is not given special status. Mr. Klein also noted that numerous democratic countries are Christian countries; 83 countries have official or favored religions; Islam is the official or favored religion in 30 countries; 136 countries incorporate religion into their national anthems; and 64 countries incorporate religious symbols or texts into their national flags. (Also see “ZOA Praises Israel for Passing Law Declaring Israel is a Jewish State,” July 20, 2018.)