Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein, ZOA Vice Chairman Dr. Alan Mazurek, M.D., and ZOA Director of Special Project Elizabeth Berney, Esq., released the following statement:
Prominent Democratic Congressman James Clyburn (S.C.) had the gall to defend antisemitic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) by claiming that Omar had a more “personal” and “powerful” experience when her family fled from Somalia, compared to the experience of Jews whose parents were Holocaust survivors. It’s absolutely shameful that Rep. Clyburn seeks to justify Omar’s irrational Jew-hatred by belittling the personal experience of Holocaust survivors’ families. And by ignoring the personal experience of Jews today who are being slaughtered by radical Muslims in Israel, France, the Seattle Jewish Federation, and elsewhere.
We assure you, Rep. Clyburn, our experience of Jew hatred is very personal and very powerful. And we’re surely not the only ones; Many ZOA members and American Jews have had powerful, personal experiences with Jew hatred.
ZOA’s Morton Klein, who was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany to two Holocaust survivors who lost most of his family members stated:
“Like many American Jews who came here after World War II, I never knew most of my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. All were slaughtered by the Nazis. As a youngster, I watched how my father suffered. I witnessed his lifelong sadness and ill health and poverty, after his terrible ordeal in the Nazi concentration camps. I witnessed him die at a relatively young age. How dare Rep. Clyburn tell me that this was not personal!”
“And, as if the Holocaust did not enough cause our people enough pain, the Jewish people’s traumas and heartbreak continues. The Palestinian Authority continues to pay Arab terrorists to murder our Jewish friends in Israel, and innocent Jewish children and babies. Just this past September, at a shopping center in Israel, for my dear friend Ari Fuld was stabbed to death by a Palestinian-Arab terrorist who deliberately targeted Ari because Ari was an American Jew.”
ZOA Vice Chairman Alan A. Mazurek, M.D. stated:
“By a miracle, when the Nazis invaded Poland, my father escaped to Russia, with barely the shirt on his back. He spent the war in a Labor Camp in Siberia. And he was one of the lucky ones! He lost his father (my grandfather) – who died while trying to escape from the Nazis. The Nazis murdered six Aunts and Uncles and all his cousins. My father suffered from nightmares all his life, which deeply affected me and my siblings. At the beginning of the Second Intifada in Israel, my dear friend Sarah Blaustein, the mother of a young daughter, was brutally murdered by Arab terrorists in a drive-by shooting in Israel, while she was on her way to pray at the Western Wall. For anyone to say that the children of survivors and the Jewish people are not affected by this, in a very personal way, is downright offensive.”
ZOA Director of Special Projects Elizabeth Berney, Esq. stated:
“My grandfather never recovered from his experience in a Nazi concentration camp. He was in a wheelchair for the last 14 years of his life, and died when I was only seven. My grandmother died before I was born. Hitler slaughtered many of his aunts and uncles. Family gatherings were small; there weren’t many of us that survived or escaped. My father told me about growing up in Germany, and the constant hatred and defamation spewed against Jews by the media – Der Stürmer – and how the Holocaust began with that hatred and anti-Jewish boycotts and restrictions. Ilhan Omar’s and Rashida Tlaib’s statements remind me of the unbridled, irrational hatred that my father was exposed to as a child, which affected him his entire life, and made a very personal impression on me.”
“Notably, after escaping to the United States, my father appreciated American freedoms. He joined the American army, and went back to Europe to fight against the Nazis. If Ilhan Omar was really affected by her experience, she should be combating radical Islam, instead of becoming a hatred-spewing radical Islamist herself.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar left Somalia in the wake of the chaos caused by the radical fundamentalist Islamist group Al Shabaab (tied to al Qaeda). So what did Omar do when she gained power in the United States? She didn’t take a stand against radical Somali Islamists. Instead, she did the opposite: She wrote to a judge demanding “compassion” and reduced sentences for convicted Somali-Islamist (ISIS) terrorists! And instead of blaming the radical Islamists who destroyed Somalia, Omar lashes out at innocent American Jews and innocent Israel – and became one of the worst radical Islamist antisemites to ever walk the halls of Congress.
Omar’s “personal” experience can be summed up as follows: She left a country where Islamists attack other Muslims, and became a Jew-hating radical Islamist herself.