Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein and ZOA Chairman Mark Levenson. Esq., and ZOA Director of Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
At today’s meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (the “COP”), the COP elected HIAS Chair Dianne Lob to become Chair of the COP commencing April 2021.
Due to the ZOA led campaign, the current COP Chair, Arthur Stark, will remain chair and Ms. Lob will serve as Chair- Elect until April 2021. Initially, Ms. Lob would have become Chair almost immediately-now she will have to wait for almost a year. Running unopposed, only 56% of COP members voted for Ms. Lob to become COP Chair. The vote was 30 to 8 with the other 15 members abstaining or not voting. Understandably, every past election for COP Chair in our memory was unanimous, because the nominee ran unopposed.
ZOA’s campaign alerted people to our legitimate concerns about the nominee. There were articles about ZOA efforts in the Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, JNS, JTA, LA Jewish Journal, NY Jewish Week, the Jewish Post and elsewhere. Even Gov. Mike Huckabee and Frank Gaffney weighed in on our side.
I, Morton Klein, must give special praise to Mark Levenson and Liz Berney for the extraordinary job they did working on this issue-and to Natalie Lazaroff on working hard to insure our materials were distributed in a timely fashion.
At the COP meeting today, ZOA President Morton Klein stated the following in the allotted 90 seconds, summarizing ZOA’s concerns about electing the former HIAS chair to head the COP:
“The Conference of Presidents’ mission requires all of its members to advocate for Israel and Jews. But the primary mission of HIAS, whose chair was Dianne Lob, is to resettle non-Jews, largely Muslims, into America. This is troubling in that ADL polls show that 74% to 93% ofMideast Muslims are antisemitic, which can potentially create more Congressional districts electing antisemitic Israel haters like Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). It can also increase the number of Americans lobbying against Israel and even increase antisemitism in America. We see the problems antisemitic Muslims have created for Jews in Europe and Israel.
Under Lob’s watch, HIAS has collaborated with terrorist-affiliated groups including Islamic Relief and CAIR. Only yesterday, Ms. Lob’s HIAS proclaimed that they don’t partner with BDS groups. But Lob’s HIAS in fact works with, or signs letters with pro-BDS groups such as CAIR, MPAC, JVP, If Not Now and J Street, and HIAS even publicly defended BDS-supporter and Jew-hating, Israel-bashing, Farrakhan-loving Linda Sarsour, who also has proudly publicly fundraised for HIAS.
HIAS has also publicly campaigned against and filed lawsuits against Israel to force Israel to keep illegal non-Jewish African Eritrean migrants, that Israel is trying to deport, especially because many have become criminals.
HIAS no longer calls itself the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society because HIAS explains that the Hebrew name “no longer represents the organization.”
Because HIAS does not work on Israel and Jewish issues, and works with terror-affiliated and pro-BDS groups, ZOA has stated that Dianne Lob is an inappropriate choice to be Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.”
ZOA had previously detailed these concerns in letters to the COP leadership.
Despite these concerns, in the coming weeks and months ZOA will work with Chair-Elect Dianne Lob, Chair Arthur Stark and CEO William Daroff, and immediate past chair Stephen Greenberg and all the members of the Conference, right, center or left, for the benefit of the Jewish State of Israel and the Jewish people, and to serve and enhance the mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, of which ZOA is a charter member since its founding in 1956. ZOA also looks forward to providing educational information on all relevant issues to Chair-Elect Lob and working with her to minimize and assuage our concerns. ZOA will always continue to respectfully make our views clearly known and understood on all issues of importance to US-Israel relations, our people and our beloved Jewish homeland Eretz Yisrael.