Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
ZOA and I, Morton Klein, as a child of Holocaust survivors who lost most of my family to Hitler’s Holocaust, condemn and urge rescission of President Biden’s recent horrific and frightening appointment to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council (the governing board of trustees of the Museum) of two board members of hostile-to-Israel non-governmental organizations: Kimberly Marteau Emerson and Alan D. Solomont.
Congress established the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to memorialize Holocaust victims and “carry out the recommendations of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust in its report to the President of September 27, 1979.” 36 USC §2301. The 1979 President’s Commission report called for the Holocaust Museum to focus both on America’s failings in the Holocaust, including the Evian conference (p. 14), the inability to believe the Holocaust was happening, and failure of effective action (p. 10-11), as well as America’s achievements, including America’s “support for a Jewish homeland.” (p. 11). Thus, the Holocaust Memorial Museum – which by law is mandated to carry out “support for the Jewish homeland” – should never have board members of anti-Israel organizations on the Museum’s governing board.
Since 2012, Kimberly Marteau Emerson has been an active member of the Board of Directors of the Israel-bashing and America-bashing Human Rights Watch (HRW), which is infamous for falsely accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “crimes against humanity,” “persecuting” and “systematic oppression” and “inhumane acts” against Palestinians. HRW calls for dismantling Jewish communities where 800,000 Jews live in the lawful Jewish homeland in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria; forcibly removing these Jews to the other side of the artificial 1948 ceasefire line; free movement of Arabs to and from Gaza; dismantling much of the security fence that protects Israelis from terror attacks; and a one-sided “return” of Palestinian Arabs to overrun Israel. (HRW April 2021 apartheid report against Israel, p. 205)
Emerson’s name appears on HRW reports, such as the HRW 2017 World Report, which complained about “expanded police and intelligence powers over terrorism-related cases,” and complained that the International Criminal Court (ICC) did not yet open formal investigations “implicating U.S. officials for unprosecuted torture in Afghanistan or Israeli officials for their policy of illegally transferring Israelis to settlements in the occupied territories.” [Note: Judea/Samaria is Jewish land, not “occupied territory” – and Jews living there are not illegal].
The same HRW report on which Emerson’s name appears also promoted antisemitic boycotts, by reiterating a 2016 HRW report in which “HRW concluded that it is impossible to do business in Israeli settlement communities without contributing to injustice and discrimination against Palestinians.” HRW also joined in an antisemitic boycott campaign, saying in the same report that “by advertising, selling and renting homes in settlements, the Israeli franchise of the real estate company RE/MAX contravenes best practices for corporate social responsibility and its responsibilities to uphold human rights.”
In other words, Kimberly Martel Emerson has lent her name to and supported the deeply antisemitic proposition that selling or renting homes to Jews is a human rights violation! Someone who puts her name on reports espousing such views cannot run a Museum memorializing the murder of six million Jews that began with the Nazis enacting boycotts against Jews.
Emerson’s interview of France’s Ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne (2019-2021) began with Emerson using the term “Palestine” (although such a state does not and never did exist); citing exaggerated numbers of “Palestinians” purportedly killed, injured and displaced” – without mentioning that most were terrorists or that Israel takes enormous pains to protect civilians. Emerson also accused the Egyptian army of committing “serious abuses and war crimes . . . during operations in the north Sinai” (without mentioning that Egypt was battling vicious ISIS terrorists in the north Sinai); condemned Egyptian president Al-Sisi; condemned Saudi Arabia for civilian casualties in Yemen (without mentioning Iran’s role and funding of the Houtis in the proxy war in Yemen); and criticized France for selling arms and jets to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Emerson thus appears to oppose every American ally in the Middle East.
Alan Solomont was a long-time Board member of vicious hostile-to-Israel groups New Israel Fund (NIF, which funds numerous anti-Israel groups that promote antisemitic BDS, seek to bring Israeli soldiers before international tribunals, funded anti-Israeli government protests, and more), and Israel Policy Forum (IPF, which is so radical that it was the only group to testify against moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem). Solomont is currently the National Board Chair of the notorious anti-Israel group J Street, which promotes anti-Israel UN resolutions; funds anti-Israel political candidates and lobbies for U.S. funding for the Palestinians – which enables the Palestinian Authority’s “pay to slay” payments to Arab terrorists to murder Jews, among many other horrors. (See also “J Street Backs Terror-Linked NGOs that Also Take Soros’s Cash,” by Jonathan Tobin, JNS, Aug. 24, 2022; ZOA Report: “J Street Sides With Israel’s Enemies & Works to Destroy Support for Israel”; and “Can J Street Still Get Away with Pretending to be ‘Pro-Israel’? It’s at war with the interests of the people of the Jewish state,” by Jonathan Tobin, JNS, Dec. 9, 2022.)
In addition, in 2019, 2020 and 2021 (the last three years for which Form 990 IRS filing information is available), Solomont’s Foundation contributed $97,800.00 (total) to J Street and J Street Education Fund; and additional amounts to other hostile-to-Israel groups, including Bend the Arc; Center for American Progress; Keshet (an offshoot of NIF); and Americans for Peace Now – which promotes BDS.
Solomont gave the opening speech at J Street’s 2022 National Conference, in which Solomont blasted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu; called Israeli government officials “ultra-nationalist bigots with massive destructive influence”; called much of the lawful Jewish homeland “occupied territories”; and called for “standing up to the right wing fanatics and to occupation.” In other words, Solomont called for standing against the 800,000 Jews living over the artificial green line.
The anti-Jewish, anti-Israel affiliations, statements, contributions and positions of Kimberly Marteau Emerson and Alan D. Solomont are antithetical to service on the Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. ZOA accordingly calls upon President Biden to rescind these horrific and frightening appointments.