In Meeting with ZOA’s Mort Klein, Rev. Sharpton Agreed to Urge Abbas to End Palestinian’s Pay-to-Murder Jews Policy
News Press Release
May 1, 2023

Also Said he’d talk to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries & Black Caucus about Abbas’ Pay-to-Slay Jews Policy 

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

Last week, ZOA President Morton Klein met in New York City with longtime African American leader Reverend Al Sharpton, the co-founder of the National Action Network (NAN). (Others attending the meeting were NAN General Counsel Michael Hardy, Esq. and Howard Teich, Esq., who is a Board member of NAN, and of prominent Jewish and other charities. The meeting was cordial, warm and friendly, and lasted almost two hours. After the meeting, Rev. Sharpton posted the following summary and picture on Facebook (and similar statements on twitter and Instagram):

“Meeting at NAN Corporate w/ Morton Klein (National President of Zionist Organization of America) about the Taylor Force Act and his info of what’s going on in the Middle East. I told him after the briefing that I would discuss these issues w/ the Congressional Black Caucus leadership and follow up after their input. I had never heard of this Act. NAN Board member Howard Teich and Atty. Michael Hardy attended the briefing. We also discussed a Middle Eastern trip.”

ZOA President Mort Klein; Rev. Al Sharpton, reading an article on the Taylor Force Act; Howard Teich, Esq., Board member, NAN; and Michael Hardy, Esq., General Counsel, NAN

After talking about our mutual friends in the Jewish and African American communities such as Black rapper/actor Ice Cube (who strongly condemned antisemitism and praised ZOA’s fighting for Israel and Jews when he spoke at a recent ZOA Gala), we discussed many of the issues in which we’ve both been involved. We felt a strong rapport when we talked about Rev. Sharpton’s Israel trip with Jewish leader and my friend Mort Zuckerman and my work for Black civil and voting rights (helping Blacks to register to vote in the 60’s). Rev. Sharpton also talked about his friendly relationship with leaders of the ADL. I then told him that I grew up in Black neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Almost all of my friends were African Americans: we played ball together; went to movies and walked to school together; and I was regularly in their homes (which had TV sets) almost as much as my own apartment (which had no TV). In talking with Rev. Sharpton about ZOA’s last gala with President Donald Trump, I was proud to tell him that I was introduced at the last ZOA Gala by my dear friend Dr. Kiron Skinner, a top African American government official and professor (former Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. State Department and Taube Professor at Carnegie-Mellon University). I also proudly mentioned my friendship with Dr. W. Delano Meriwether, M.D. (the first African American accepted to Duke University medical school), whom I met when he and I both worked for the Federal Government in Washington, DC. He was the head of the U.S. government flu immunization program, and I was a senior economist working on health policy in the Office of the Secretary of HEW (now HHS). (Remarkably, Dr. Meriwether was also a U.S. Olympics track star.)

As Rev. Sharpton’s internet postings note, Middle East issues were then discussed. Rev. Sharpton was horrified and more than shocked to hear that Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has an ongoing program, spending $400 million a year to pay Arabs lifetime pensions to murder Jews. Rev. Sharpton proclaimed that he had never heard about this monstrous policy. I then asked Rev. Sharpton if he, as a civil rights leader and Baptist Minister, would publicly urge the Palestinian leader Abbas to immediately end this heinous “pay-to-slay” policy. He said he would take action, after perusing the articles I brought to the meeting about the U.S. Taylor Force Act, which restricts U.S. aid to the Palestinians so long as “pay-to-slay” continues. (Unfortunately, the U.S. administration is ignoring or circumventing the Taylor Force Act by giving $916 million to the Palestinians, which saves the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars; plus another $618 million to Hamas-permeated UNRWA, which teaches Arab children lies about Israel and to hate and commit violence against Jews.) Rev. Sharpton also said that he would speak with U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and to leaders of the U.S. Congress Black Caucus about the Palestinian Authority’s heinous pay-to-slay policy, and then follow up.

Rev. Sharpton and I also discussed seriously the possibility of visiting the Jewish State of Israel together.

I and the ZOA hope and believe that this meeting will lead to benefits for the Jewish and African American communities, for the Jewish State of Israel, and for better Black-Jewish relations. We already appreciate and thank Rev. Al Sharpton for his public tweets and Instagram and Facebook messages about our meeting and for agreeing to demand an end to Mahmoud Abbas’ and the Palestinian Arab regimes’ heinous, monstrous, Nazi-like policy of paying lifetime pensions to Arabs to murder Jews and to raise this horrifying issue with U.S. House minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and with the Black Caucus in Congress and to then follow up. I also look forward to the real possibility of our taking a trip together to Israel.”

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