October 11, 2019
ZOA in the news

ZOA Opposes World Jewish Congress Honoring Germany’s Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks on as she attends a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) opposes the World Jewish Congress (WJC)’s decision to honor German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Herzl Award. The ZOA firmly believes that a foreign leader who continues to support the disastrously flawed 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which will enable the Iranian regime in time to become a nuclear weapons state, is a singularly inappropriate recipient of the WJC’s most prestigious award.


The announcement of the award has produced strong criticism and upset in Germany’s Jewish community which, in addition to decrying Chancellor Merkel’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, is also deeply critical of her support for mass Muslim immigration to Germany and Europe in view of the vicious anti-Semitism that is rampant among the new immigrants. 


Germany’s support for numerous anti-Israel UN resolutions and initiatives in international bodies; its refusal to ban the operations of the Iranian Shia proxy Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah; Germany’s continued financial backing for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which entrenches Palestinian rejectionism and extremism; and the German government’s opposition to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, are additional points of bitter disappointment with the Merkel government (Eldad Beck, ‘German Jews blast WJC’s decision to give Merkel the Herzl Award,’ October 10, 2019).

“The ZOA is stunned and deeply disappointed that the World Jewish Congress has chosen to bestow its Theodor Herzl Award upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”


Only last week, Chancellor Merkel whitewashed the routine anti-Semitic discourse of the Iranian regime calling for Israel’s destruction as being nothing more than mere “anti-Israel rhetoric.”


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is stunned and deeply disappointed that the World Jewish Congress has chosen to bestow its Theodor Herzl Award upon German Chancellor Angela Merkel.


“By any reasonable yardstick, Chancellor Merkel has done little if anything to justify the bestowal of this award and a great deal that should disqualify her as a candidate for this award.


“Which policy she has pursued does the WJC believe distinguishes Chancellor Merkel as a worthy recipient of this Award? Her refusal to close down the operations in Germany of the vicious blood-soaked terrorist group Hezbollah? Her opposition to recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Her stubborn support for the Iran nuclear deal that is opposed on bipartisan basis in Israel? Her unabashed claim that Iran is not anti-Semitic, despite its repeated calls for the Jewish State’s destruction. 


“Whatever else may be said of Chancellor Merkel, she is an entirely inappropriate recipient of an award adorned with the name of the founding father of Political Zionism.”