November 6, 2019
News Press Release

World Zionist Congress Adopts ZOA’s Strong/Important Pro-Israel Resolutions

ZOA-Adopted Resolutions include: Use Term “Judea/Samaria;” Prioritize Aliyah for Endangered Jews, Combat BDS and Palestinian “Pay to Slay” Payments, and Condemn UNESCO
The Second Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in 1898. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:

The World Zionist Congress (WZC) voted to adopt important ZOA resolutions and proposals at the annual meeting of the WZC’s Zionist General Council in Israel last week (October 29-31, 2019). Notably, the only groups that submitted resolutions this year were the ZOA, ZOA’s coalition partner World Likud, and, on the other side of the fence, far left groups. The adoption of ZOA’s resolutions was an important step in the ZOA coalition’s ongoing battles to assure the Jewish people’s rights to our homeland, protect the safety of Jews around the world, and combat the rising scourge of anti-Semitism and BDS.  

There is of course much more work to do, to assure that the WZO and its constituent groups follow up these resolutions with action, and to obtain passage of other important ZOA pro-Israel initiatives that the leftwing groups blocked.  

Please help by voting for the ZOA coalition slate in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections, which will take place online from January 21, 2020 through March 11, 2020. Voting information will be posted at VoteZOA.org.

Some of the ZOA resolutions that were adopted last week are summarized here:

ZOA Resolution Prioritizing Rescuing Endangered Jews: In parts of the world today, it is unsafe to be Jewish. This extremely important ZOA resolution, passed last week, requires the World Zionist Organization, and recommends to WZO representatives in Israel’s other national institutions, to “prioritize rescuing endangered Jews, above all non-emergency priorities, including by increasing the funds available for this purpose.”

ZOA Resolution Against Palestinian “Pay-to-Slay” a.k.a. “Martyr” Payments:  The WZO and its constituent organizations adopted ZOA’s resolution (i) condemning the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists and/or their families to murder Jews, and (ii) resolving to press for urgent remedial action, including “pressing governments and organizations throughout the world to condition all further payments to the PA/PLO on the PA/PLO ending all such ‘payments’ for Jew killers. 

ZOA Anti-BDS Resolutions:  ZOA has been waging a multi-pronged, years-long battle to combat anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS).  BDS leaders admit that their goal is to destroy Israel. It is thus outrageous and dangerous that groups that promote BDS have infiltrated the World Zionist Congress – a body whose stated goals include strengthening the Jewish state.  During the 2015 World Zionist Congress elections, ZOA brought a case against groups that promote BDS to the Zionist Supreme Court – which refused to act.  Thus, in 2016, ZOA obtained passage of an anti-BDS resolution making combating BDS the policy applicable throughout the World Zionist Organization.  (See, e.g., “World Zionist Congress of WZO Adopts ZOA’s Anti-BDS Resolution including Judea/Samaria,” Nov. 7, 2016; and “ZOA Argues Case At Zionist Supreme Court: Disqualify BDS Groups from World Zionist Congress,” Mar. 25, 2016.)   

(a) Excluding BDS supporters from the World Zionist Congress: Unfortunately, however, groups that promote BDS are planning to run again in the upcoming 2020 World Zionist Congress elections.  Thus, ZOA obtained passage last week of a resolution that makes it crystal clear that “any person or organization supporting BDS must be excluded from the Zionist movement.” 

(b)  Combatting Worldwide BDS:  ZOA’s resolution also promotes action to counter and stop BDS activities throughout the world.

(c)  Combatting BDS in Universities:  ZOA also obtained passage of another anti-BDS resolution last week urging universities throughout the world to take all lawful steps to counteract BDS and the demonization of Israel on campus, and to assure that Jewish students have a safe learning environment, free of harassment and discrimination.

(d)  Combatting Anti-Israel Boycotts with Pro-Israel “Buy-cotts”:  The World Zionist Congress also passed ZOA’s resolution “to promote and adopt ‘Buy Israel’ programs, in the Diaspora, encouraging their members and the public to purchase products manufactured in Israel and products made by companies in the Diaspora that do business with and in Israel.”

Resolution Promoting Israeli Sovereignty over and Settlement in the Jordan Valley: ZOA worked together with coalition partner World Likud to pass a resolution “calling upon the Israeli Government to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and also to act to promote settlement in these areas.”

ZOA Resolution for Use of Proper Name “Judea and Samaria”: Using the right terminology is critical for defending the Jewish people’s rights to the Jewish homeland. ZOA thus obtained passage of the following resolution, which we are quoting here in full, to provide historical context:

Resolution for the Use of Proper Name “Judea and Samaria”:  

Whereas the name “Judea” dates back to the Jewish Kingdom of Judah (928-527 BCE), and the name Samaria dates back to the areas of Judea resettled by Samaritans, and as such, are the proper historical names for these areas; and

Whereas United Nations Resolution 181 (passed on November 29, 1947) referred to the area as “the hill country of Samaria and Judea” and never used the term “West Bank” – which was not yet invented at that time; and 

Whereas, in order to try to de-Judaize these areas, Jordan renamed Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem the “West Bank” in 1950, shortly after Jordan began Jordan’s 19-year illegal occupation of these areas in 1948; and

Whereas, the proper names used by the Israeli government are Judea and Samaria,

Therefore, the WZO [World Zionist Organization], the Zionist General Council, and the Inner and Outer Executive, will use, and will 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 use the names “Judea and Samaria” in their statements, publications and maps, rather than the name “West Bank.”

ZOA Resolution Condemning UNESCO:The World Zionist Congress overwhelmingly passed ZOA’s resolution “condemn[ing] actions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (“UNESCO”) for denying the millenia-long Jewish connection to Jewish holy sites, including the Temple Mount, the Kotel, and Hebron, including placing Hebron on UNESCO’s list of endangered sites.” 

The Proceedings: ZOA President Morton Klein is proud and pleased to have sent two outstanding Zionists to represent ZOA at the 2019 World Zionist Congress last week – ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. and ZOA Philadelphia Chapter President Kevin Ross.  

The proceedings last week were often highly contentious and hard-fought. Some of the leftwing proposals were so damaging that at one point, someone yelled out “Allahu Akbar” to point this out. For instance, ZOA and its coalition partners were able to stop a leftwing resolution clause that made false accusations of “institutional racism within Israeli society.”  

Be sure to vote to help strengthen the ZOA coalition and a strong and proud pro-Israel pro Jewish agenda in the 2020 World Zionist Congress.


Please vote for the ZOA coalition in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections!

Vote online between January 21, 2020 and March 11, 2020.

See VoteZOA.org or contact [email protected] for more information.