Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Chair Mark Levenson, Esq. released the following statement:
The ZOA strongly opposes confirmation of nominee Neera Tanden for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB prepares budget proposals and evaluates the effectiveness of executive agency programs. This agency should not be led by someone with the sorts of biases and absurd judgement that Ms. Tanden has displayed as president and CEO of the radical “Center for American Progress” (CAP). For instance:
Tanden’s Absurd Anti-Israel Golan Heights Statement: Ms. Tanden displayed her bias and ignorance about the Middle East by condemning President Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty over a portion of the Golan Heights. Tanden falsely and absurdly claimed that President Trump’s recognition of Israel’s longstanding sovereignty was a “blatant political move” that “could actually destabilize the region, isolate the United States, and diminish the chances of Arab-Israeli peace even further.”
In fact, in light of Syria’s bloody internal warfare, Iran’s and Iranian terror proxy Hezbollah’s growing presence in Syria, the history of Syria using the Golan Heights to attack and invade Israel, and Iran’s recent missile attacks from Syrian territory into Israel, President Trump’s recognition of Israeli sovereignty actually stabilizes and strengthens the entire region against terror and warfare. Trump’s decision also stabilized the lives of the tens of thousands of Jewish and Druze Israeli citizens living in the Golan. Trump’s decision was also just and reflected the long Jewish history in the Golan that dates back to Biblical times. The remains of dozens of synagogues through 800 C.E. have been found in the Golan. Jewish farmers had farms in the Golan in the 1800s. Moreover, the Golan was part of the original legal Mandate for establishing the Jewish nation. (Read “Morton Klein’s Written Congressional Testimony on the Recognition of Israeli Sovereignty Over the Golan Heights,” July 17, 2018.)
Tanden’s Golan statement also bizarrely claimed that President Trump’s stabilizing, pro-Israel move somehow “weaponized” antisemitism. It is a nonsensical reversal of the truth to claim that pro-Israel moves have anything to do with antisemitism.
CAP’s Condemnation of the Killing of Leading IRGC Terrorist: The CAP organization led by Ms. Tanden issued an absurd statement condemning the killing of Iranian terrorism leader Qasem Soleimani, the head of designated foreign terror organization Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). CAP falsely claimed that killing Soleimani harmed U.S. ally Iraq. In fact, Soleimani was responsible for orchestrating numerous terror attacks in Iraq, Israel, and the United States, including killing over 600 American soldiers in Iraq and Lebanon, helping to plan and facilitate 9/11, and planning a (thwarted) bombing at a Georgetown, Washington, D.C. restaurant. Soleimani was planning another major attack at the time he was killed. Experts noted that killing Soleimani saved numerous American lives. (See, e.g. “JNS: Trump Deserves Praise for Protecting Americans and Israelis by Killing Terror Leader,” by Morton Klein and Elizabeth Berney, Jan. 9, 2020; “Trump ‘Saved American Lives’ by Ordering Killing of Iranian General Soleimani, Expert Says,” by Charles Creitz, Fox News, Jan. 2, 2020.)
Tanden’s Interview of Israeli PM Netanyahu: Tanden again displayed her biases and ignorance during her 2015 interview of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a 2015 CAP event. Tanden’s questions repeatedly contained embedded anti-Israel falsehoods, including falsehoods about “settlements” and “settlers” (Jewish communities and Jewish citizens). PM Netanyahu had to spend his response time politely and diplomatically correcting Tanden’s false premises. (“A Conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” Nov. 10, 2015, video)
Ms. Tanden’s 1,000 Deleted Tweets: Unfortunately, ZOA is unable to examine Ms. Tanden’s 1,000-plus, reportedly partisan insulting tweets that Ms. Tanden recently deleted. Ms. Tanden’s lack of transparency leaves us wondering what else Ms. Tanden may have tweeted.
It is gratifying to see that there is bipartisan disapproval of Ms. Tanden’s nomination, including the announced decisions by Senators Joe Manchin, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney, to vote against Ms. Tanden’s confirmation. Senator Susan Collins noted today: “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency.”