Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein and ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. released the following statement:
For years, a Jewish woman named Tema Smith has been waging her own little war against Israel, Jews, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and ZOA President Mort Klein, on social media, and in articles in far-left wing media such as the Forward. But Ms. Smith escaped our attention up until last week, when The Anti-Defamation League (ADL)’s Jonathan Greenblatt announced that Tema Smith would be the ADL’s new “Director of Jewish Outreach.” Alarmed friends emailed us that Tema Smith was a dangerous, terrible and frightening choice to direct ADL’s “Jewish outreach,” because, among other things, Smith sympathizes with Israel-haters, Jew-hating terrorists, Critical Race Theory, condemns and blocks numerous Zionist Jews on social media, and obsessively levels false racism charges at Jews.
This week, esteemed Shillman Journalism fellow Daniel Greenfield’s exposé, entitled “ADL Hires Director for Jewish Outreach Who Hates Jews,” documented Smith’s racism accusations against fellow Jews and Smith’s heinous, antisemitic, anti-Israel calumnies, such as “Jews Have to be ok with Palestinians Explaining Why Some Turn to Terrorism”; and “Hamas — And The Palestinians as a Whole — Have Desperately Real And Legitimate Grievances Against Israel” (published after Hamas murdered three Jewish boys); and that Jews need to “Repent for Gaza’s Dead”; and “There are no Good Guys in the Gaza-Israel Fight,” and Smith’s agreement with the heinous charge that the Jewish Press was “maximizing outrage and minimizing understanding,” after a French court failed to convict the vicious Muslim murderer of French Jewish kindergarten teacher Sarah Halimi.
Senior Journalist David Harsanyi also just wrote about Smith’s horrendous stances, in an article entitled, The ADL Has Chosen a Side. And It’s Not the Jewish One.” Harsanyi gave context to her frightening quote that Smith tweeted: “Jews have to be ok with Palestinians, explaining why some turn to terrorism,” in the course of Smith’s disgraceful support of Biden appointee Reema Dodin’s defense of the Palestinian Arab terrorist who bombed the Sbarro pizza shop, murdering 15 innocent Jews, including seven children and a pregnant Jewish American woman. Harsanyi also noted Smith’s tweet accusing the Jewish community of “implicit racism” for reacting to antisemitism coming from Black people.
We have now also independently investigated Tema Smith’s statements. Painfully, her record is indeed horrific.
For instance, shortly after members of a Black anti-Jewish hate group carried out the planned murder of innocent Jews and an innocent non-Jewish employee at a kosher deli in Jersey City, and a member of the same Black anti-Jewish hate group traveled to Monsey to stab Jews at a Hanukkah party, and violent attacks by Blacks on Jewish women and children dramatically spiked in Brooklyn, Smith wrote an article in the Forward (“How to Talk about Black Anti-Semitism”) blaming Black antisemitism on “unequal relations” between Blacks and “Jewish landlords, and pawnbrokers and small merchants,” and, most of all, on “systemic racism” against Blacks. Smith wrote: “a single factor underlies every attempt to diagnose a unique form of Black antisemitism: systemic racism. . . . Antisemitism in the Black community is shown to be the symptom of the structures of racism in the United States.”
Smith thus characterizes Black anti-Jewish haters or hate groups that incite or perpetrate murder and violence as the real victims; and Smith holds Jews – including the antisemitic stereotype of a “Jewish pawnbroker” – responsible for antisemitic attacks against themselves.
Tema Smith also falsely and ignorantly accused ZOA President Morton Klein (who is a fighter FOR Black civil rights) of being a “virulent racist,” falsely accused ZOA of “public racism,” and called for ZOA to be “canceled” – removed from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (which ZOA co-founded). In fact, Mort Klein grew up in an all-Black neighborhood, and has a long record of promoting Black civil rights. ZOA and ZOA President Morton Klein had simply accurately documented and condemned the Black Lives Matter / Movement 4 Black Lives organizations’ vicious Jew-hatred and Israel-hatred. The BLM/M4BL organizations’ platform, activities and social media include: promoting anti-Israel BDS; promoting anti-Israel blood libels (including falsely accusing Israel of perpetrating genocide and ethnic cleansing); falsely claiming Israel trains American police to kill Blacks; partnering with front groups for the PFLP (a designated terror organization); and inciting and participating in a major anti-Jewish pogrom in Los Angeles (including burning synagogues and Jewish schools) and nationwide anti-Israel “days of rage.”
Tema Smith also twists, condemns, and seems unable to fathom sincere, warm friendships between proud Zionist Jews and Blacks. Smith again ignorantly and viciously tweeted that Morton Klein’s and Ice Cube’s warm brother-like friendship was “a mutual publicity stunt because they think it’ll give them each cover the next time they get called out.” In yet another tweet, Smith absurdly speculated that “their libel lawyer” probably arranged for them to get together.
In fact, Morton Klein continues to have a close and growing relationship with Ice Cube with whom he’s spent hours in person. Ice Cube and his manager also spoke at ZOA’s Gala, strongly condemning antisemitism. The U.S. State Department’s former Director of Policy Planning Dr. Kiron Skinner, who happens to be Black, also spoke at the ZOA Gala. ZOA is also honoring a former Black Congressmen Alan West at our upcoming ZOA Mission to Washington.
Tema Smith shares with racists an obsession with one’s skin color, and also uses her “identity” as a “Jew of color” to divide Jews into “white Jews” and “Jews of color,” and to falsely tar the former as racists. (Smith identifies herself as “Black”; is white-skinned; and wrote in “Jewish &,” that she is actually only one-quarter Black, “if she got the family lineage right.”) Smith is so intent on falsely labeling Ashkenazi Jews as racists that she claimed that she only “fits in” with them because she looks white. In “Jewish &,” Smith wrote, “The fact that I can walk into Jewish settings and instantly fit in leaves me with a bad taste.”
Smith ignores that most Jews – no matter what their skin color – primarily view themselves as Jews and as an equal part of the multi-faceted Jewish community. To almost all of us, it simply doesn’t matter if a fellow Jew (or anyone else) is black, yellow, white or red. We are all part of the same nation. “Jews of color” moreover comprise the majority in Israel (and ZOA’s supporters include Jews of color). Israel is the only country in the world that rescued and brought Blacks into the country to live in freedom. ZOA and every synagogue and other Jewish institution that we’ve been in fully accepts and warmly embraces Jews of all colors. A predominantly Jewish area in Long Island, NY (where many ZOA supporters live) recently elected as County Legislator an Ethiopian Jew over an Ashkenazi Jewish incumbent.
Tema Smith also supports Critical Race Theory (CRT), the Marxist doctrine that divides people by the color of their skin into “oppressed” and “oppressors.” CRT does enormous harm to the psyches of young children that it is foisted on, and others. It is the antithesis of everything that Judaism believes and that America’s founding declaration and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for.
Thus, Smith condemns CRT’s opponents for quoting the inspiring words in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. (“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. . . that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
According to Tema Smith, MLK was not proposing to treat all people equally now, but instead was condemning “structural racism.”
Tema Smith also condemned a Committee of Concerned Rabbis’ letter which objected to Jews being censored for expressing concerns about sensitive race issues (an apparent reference to CRT and the BLM/M4BL organizations’ antisemitism). The Rabbis’ letter noted that “the ascendency of an ideology that in its most simplistic form sees the world solely in binary terms of oppressed versus oppressor, and categorizes individuals into monolithic group identities, is a familiar and frightening development for the Jewish People.”
Tema Smith then promoted and signed a very different letter – together with leaders of far-left hostile-to-Israel groups New Israel Fund (NIF – including David N. Myers), T’ruah, J Street, Bend the Arc, and NY Jewish Agenda. The far-left letter signed and promoted by Tema Smith claimed that, “significant portions of our [Jewish] community have not successfully lived up to [rigorous discourse] values” and accused Jews who disagreed with them of “bad faith critiques” and “simplistic, even glib” critiques of “concepts like ‘intersectionality’, ‘critical race theory’, ‘white privilege’ (or ‘white supremacy’).” In other words, Jews who disagree with racially divisive, anti-Jewish agendas are bad and stupid.
Daniel Greenfield’s title, “ADL Hires Director for Jewish Outreach Who Hates Jews,” thus said it all.