Zionist Organizations of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
The ZOA wishes a hearty Mazel Tov to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), a Duke Alum, for his successful effort to help reinstate Students Supporting Israel as an official student club at Duke University. (Sen. Paul has also spoken out against enemies of Israel by opposing U.S. financial aid to the terrorist dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority and its terrorist leader Mahmoud Abbas, who pays Arabs lifetime pensions to murder Americans and Jews.) The Duke student government had wrongfully vetoed SSI’s student club registration last fall. The ZOA is pleased and proud to have actively helped obtain this important victory against Israelophobia and to have contacted our friend Sen. Rand Paul asking his critical help to reinstate this strongly pro-Israel group.
Among other things, ZOA sent a detailed letter to Duke University’s president reminding him of the university’s policy and legal obligations to reverse the discriminatory action against SSI, and encouraged and praised a prominent Senator for speaking on this pro-Israel group’s behalf. (See, e.g., “ZOA to Duke U.: Rectify Antisemitism at Duke & Override Student Govt.’s Refusal to Recognize a Pro-Israel Student Group,” Dec. 15, 2021; “ZOA Praises Sen. Paul Urging Duke Reverse Denial of Recognition of Pro-Israel Student Group – Jewish Journal,” Feb. 15, 2022; “ZOA Applauds Sen. Rand Paul for Urging Duke U (“His Alma Mater): Override Decision Wrongly Denying Recognition of Pro-Israel Student Group,” Jan. 12, 2022.)
This morning, ZOA received a beautiful letter from SSI Chairwoman Valeria Chazin, thanking ZOA – especially ZOA’s Director of the ZOA Center for Law & Justice Susan Tuchman, Esq., and ZOA Director of Research & Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. – for all their help in obtaining this important victory. Among other things, SSI’s Chairwoman wrote that SSI was “so grateful knowing that you were a resource and had our back along the way during the process in the last couple of months. I really thank you for all the work you’ve personally done and the time you put into this, doing the research, writing the letters, sharing knowledge and expertise, getting on calls with us, and communicating and following up to check on the progress.” It is not taken for granted and we were truly appreciative of your [Susan Tuchman’s and Liz Berney’s] support and the ZOA’s support!”
SSI and ZOA Campus often work together, holding joint educational programs and combating antisemitism on college campuses. ZOA is also honored that SSI joined the ZOA Coalition at the World Zionist Congress, and that SSI’s Chairwoman is one of the ZOA Coalition’s activist delegates at the World Zionist Congress.
ZOA’s Center for Law & Justice has also been very active in combating other instances of antisemitism on the Duke campus. ZOA’s 2019 complaint to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights resulted in an investigation, and Duke entering into a settlement agreement, requiring Duke to take concrete steps to combat antisemitism. (See, e.g., “Triggered by ZOA’s Complaint, Duke U – Like UNC – Enters into Agreement with U.S. Govt to Address Campus Antisemitism,” Dec. 17, 2019; “JPost: ZOA Complaint Under Title VI Causes Duke Univ. to Fight Antisemitism On Campus,” Dec. 20, 2019.)