Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Research & Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
The World Zionist Congress (the “WZC” – the worldwide parliament of the Jewish people) has a “Va’ad Hapoel” (working committee) – a “mini” World Zionist Congress, consisting of approximately one quarter of each slate’s representatives, that meets annually during the “off years” when the full World Zionist Congress does not meet. This year, the WZC Va’ad Hapoel is meeting virtually on December 19-21. The theme of this year’s Va’ad Hapeol is supposed to be “Combating Antisemitism” – an effort that is desperately needed at this time when physical and verbal attacks on Jews and Israel are dramatically rising all over America and the world. Jews are no longer safe in the streets of Los Angeles, Boston, New York, London, Paris, Lod and Jerusalem, from attacks perpetrated by Islamists, Arab Israelis (against their Jewish neighbors), the Black Lives Matter organization, Black Muslims, other Marxist and anti-Israel groups, and neo-Nazis. In the halls of the U.S. Congress, Congresspersons Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, AOC, Cori Bush, Betty McCollum and others spew antisemitic venom and promote anti-Israel legislation with impunity.
Unfortunately, far left wing members of the World Zionist Congress are attempting to derail the WZC’s “Combating Antisemitism” efforts by blocking efforts to address the real antisemitism tormenting and endangering the Jewish people. The far leftist leaders of Meretz (which includes Partners for Progressive Israel and Ameinu, which is led by extremist left wing anti-Israel J Street’s treasurer) and Arzenu/ARZA (the Reform movement) are proposing that the “parliament of the Jewish people” should instead expend its limited resources on non-antisemitism issues such as: labeling Israel as racist; combating “racism”; combating homophobia; combating supposed anti-Arab prejudice; combating “other structures of discrimination”; and assisting illegal Eritrean Muslim migrants in Israel (whose documented high levels of criminal activity have injured many of South Tel Aviv’s poor, elderly Jewish residents).
In addition, the left-wingers are proposing that those whom it labels as “racist” (namely, anyone whom the far Left disagrees with) should be removed from the Zionist movement. This is “cancel culture” gone amok.
The left wing WZC groups are also demanding that the World Zionist Organization should support and join the work of the anti-Israel New Israel Fund (NIF)/Shatil’s “Coalition Against Racism,” which includes the so-called “Association for Civil Rights in Israel” (ACRI) and the Mossawa Center. ACRI and Mossawa (which are funded by extremist Israel-bashing Soros’ Open Society Foundations, NIF and European governments) defame Israel as “racist” and “an apartheid regime” and with other blood libels at the United Nations and other international fora, and bring lawsuits to undermine the Israel Defense Force’s efforts to protect Israelis from violence and terrorism.
Thus, instead of combating antisemitism, the extremist left-wingers are demanding that the World Zionist Organization should combine forces with groups that are defaming Israel and causing more antisemitism. Interestingly, this left wing proposal misleadingly omitted any mention of the sponsors, funders and members of the “Coalition Against Racism.”
The left wing is also insisting that the label “antisemitism” should only be applied if there is “consensus” throughout all of the Jewish community that something is antisemitic. This proposal means that even though almost the entire Jewish community is united in opposing the antisemitic anti-Israel Ben & Jerry’s boycott, the fact that a few far-left wing groups such as Ameinu and J Street support the boycott could block efforts to combat this antisemitic boycott!
In addition, the left wing WZC members are proposing that the World Zionist Congress should partner with the politicized, partisan, left wing, deeply problematic Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL recently stated that BDS resolutions are not necessarily antisemitic; praised antisemite Ilhan Omar as “committed to a more just world”; repeatedly harmed efforts to stop anti-Israel boycotts by lobbying against anti-BDS laws; recently issued a report demanding that three strong pro-Israel groups (including a pro-Israel Christian Zionist group that combats the use of anti-Israel textbooks) should lose their tax exemption and ability to use fundraising platforms; featured anti-Israel speakers at ADL’s “Never is Now” conference, including speakers who had falsely accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing”; and filed a brief supporting “race-conscious” college admissions (which harm Jews, Asians and other hard-working students who deserve to be judged on merit).
If the left wing proposals are successful, it will be an enormous travesty that endangers the Jewish people. The need to combat the far-leftists’ proposals is also taking away valuable time and energy that could better be spent working on positive and creative World Zionist Congress efforts to combat the antisemitism scourge.
We hope that the extremist leftists making these dangerous proposals will open their hearts to the words of the WZC Va’ad Hapoel’s opening speakers such as Natan Sharansky. Sharansky described how progressive ideology has become a new form of Marxism, an ideology that led to the murder of millions, using the pretext of caring for the underprivileged. He explained that the progressives are against human rights and liberalism, classify certain groups as “oppressed” and always right, classify other groups (including Jews and Israel) as “oppressors” and always to blame, and no longer view Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a hero. Instead of recognizing that Israel is a small country surrounded by Arab and Muslim enemies seeking to destroy her and murder her Jewish citizens, the progressives call Israel an apartheid regime, and call Palestinian Arabs “victims” even when they are terrorists. Sharansky further noted that “all the progressive forces are mobilizing against Israel.” Sadly, he also noted that many of these progressives are Jews, who, in their search for “tikkun olam,” are supporting theories that could lead to the extermination of millions of us. Sharansky further noted that those who are abandoning Israel are also abandoning Judaism. And he reminded the attendees of his “three D’s” – his wise, alliterative depiction of telltale signs of antisemitism: “Defamation, double standards and delegitimization.”
We hope and pray that common sense will prevail during the upcoming WZC Va’ad Hapoel votes.