Posted by: Morton A. Klein, ZOA
March 13, 2013
Special Reports

Morton A. Klein: ZOA President’s Address at the 114th Annual Louis D. Brandeis Awards Dinner, New York, NY 2011

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            I am proud and privileged to welcome all of you here. Eight hundred devoted and committed Zionists whose love of Israel and the Jewish people is evident by the fact of your presence of simply being here. I want to especially welcome the over one hundred college students here tonight. Welcome future Jewish leaders of America!! All of you are among the most devoted and clear thinking Zionists in America and that’s whether you’re Jewish or Christian. Unlike some other Jewish leaders and Jewish organizations, we at the ZOA love and appreciate every Christian Zionist in America!!!

Thank G-d for you!!! Thank G-d for you!!!

 

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            These Christian Zionists support Israel not only as President Lyndon Baines Johnson once said, “because it’s the right thing to do,” but also because they believe in the Torah, in the Hebrew bible which makes it clear that G-d almighty gave Eretz Yisrael the promised land to the Jews!!!

            I often say, “Why is it called the Promised Land; who promised the land and to whom did He promise it?” G-d promised the land and he promised it to the Jewish people, which is clearly written in the Holy Bible. This is part of the faith and is believed by billions of people around the world, not just a handful of people in Judea and Samaria.

            You know, the Talmud says, “that the world exists only because there are thirty-six righteous people in the world at any one time.” But looking around here, tonight, I think that Hashem, that G-d, has to change that number: the number should be seven hundred and ninety‑six people, all of you!!!

 

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            I do believe that if strong and courageous and activist and outspoken Jews and Christians, like you  here in this room, existed in the thirties and forties, and they did not, I know that world history would have been different, certainly Jewish history would have been different. Let’s pledge tonight, as Mr. Beck reminds us regularly, to do all we can to make sure history never goes in that direction again! Never!!!

            But we have learned some lessons from that awful time: never again dare we be the Jews of silence! We certainly will never be at the Zionist Organization of America!

            We are the oldest pro-Israel organization in the USA and in addition, by the way, to the presidents of ZOA that my dear friend Steve Goldberg mentioned earlier, he seemed to miss who may be the most notable ZOA president of all, who headed the ZOA in the fifties: his name is Rabbi Max Nussbaum of Los Angeles. Why do I say he’s the most notable? Because it is Rabbi Nussbaum who converted Sammy Davis, Jr. and Elizabeth Taylor to Judaism!!

            Elizabeth Taylor, by the way, was also a ZOA Brandeis Awardee and raised millions of dollars for Israel. Elizabeth Taylor even married several Jewish men! Many Jewish women today don’t do this!

ZOA has a Government Relations Division headed by Dan Pollak and Josh London in Washington. U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Relations, said this past year, “Thanks to the ZOA, last year, we had a record session of passing legislation affecting Israel in a positive way.” Not only do we educate, promoting the truth about the Arab war against Israel, we educate Congress on the Iran issue, and on the terrible dangers of a possible Palestinian-Arab terrorist state, but we bring in speakers and scholars to speak to Members of the House and Senate and their staffs regularly. We have a ZOA Center for Law and Justice, headed by Susan Tuchman.

 

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            Previously, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act protected blacks and Hispanic students on campus from harassment and discrimination and intimidation, but not Jewish students. After a six-year ZOA campaign that everyone told us was hopeless, and I’m talking about ADL and AJ Committee telling us that, nevertheless we didn’t stop! And, I am pleased and proud to tell you that the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights announced an important policy change this past year benefiting Jewish students in secondary schools and universities. They declared that they now will reinterpret and enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to protect, not only blacks and Hispanic students, but also every Jewish student in colleges and in high schools!

 

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In part due to our work at UC Irvine, a number of Muslim student union students who wouldn’t let Ambassador Michael Oren speak, were suspended for six months or more from having any programming there!

 

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            In an LA Times article, written by a former UC Irvine Muslim student union member, whose name is Omar Kurdi, said, “The decision comes after several months of intense pressure by the Zionist Organization of America. The ZOA’s threats were intended solely to strong arm university administrators into harsh action against us. It appears that the ZOA was successful. It worked.” Well, Mr. Omar Kurdi, the ZOA will not stop fighting against the hatred and lies propagated by the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine or anywhere else.

 

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            I’m also delighted that we have here many students from Rutgers’ University…

 

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            …I mention them because these students, who have a specific horrific problem at Rutgers, are both courageous leaders: they face a campus where Jews in Israel were being demonized on a regular basis. One Jewish student’s life was threatened; he was even threatened by a university official who referred to him on Facebook as, “that racist Zionist pig.” In the face of all these problems, the students didn’t just sit back; they did something about this. They tried to work things out with anti-Israel groups on campus, with university officials. When these efforts failed, they took action supporting a formal ZOA complaint, a legal complaint, brought on their behalf. Based on their input, we filed a ten‑page complaint with the Office of Civil Rights and US Department of Education…

 

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            …describing in detail a long pattern of anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation at Rutgers. Only weeks ago, the Office of Civil Rights let us know it will be investigating the ZOA’s Title VI complaint and we will be sure to follow through on that…

 

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            We also filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in a suit we helped initiate. This legal brief was about the fact that American Jews who are born in Jerusalem, are only allowed to put on their passports where it says “Place of Birth” the word Jerusalem, not Jerusalem, Israel. We filed a suit, along with renowned attorney Nathan Lewin, that the State Department must enforce US law permitting any American Jew born in Jerusalem to put for “Place of Birth” “Jerusalem, Israel,” not simply “Jerusalem.”

 

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            We have a ZOA campus department whose managing director is Sharona Whisler. We disseminate literature, we have conferences, speakers, we have interns, we have a publication called “The College Zionist,” we bring fifty or more Jewish students to Israel every winter vacation. And, unlike other organizations, we don’t just bring them only to Tel Aviv and Haifa; we bring them past the so-called ’67 line to Ma’aleh Adumim, Efrat, Ariel, Hebron, all over… Judea and Samaria.

 

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            We have an Israel office headed by Jeff Daube, we confer with Knesset members and Israeli ministers regularly, to promote strong U.S./Israel relations and give our insights into the Arab war against Israel. We help plan trips and accompany officials in Israel. When Gov. Mike Huckabee and Mr. Glenn Beck come to Israel, we help them with their trips… Many congress members and US Senators, as well. We are now supporting a law that Israel’s trying to pass: millions of dollars are given by foreign nations to organizations, anti-Israel organizations within Israel, to promote an anti-Israel agenda: millions of dollars. Now, there’s a law in Israel that’s trying to get passed to limit any foreign country’s gift to $5,000.

 

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            Why should countries like France and Italy and other European countries be supporting anti-Israel organizations in Israel with many millions of dollars? If they don’t like Israel’s policies, they can go through normal diplomatic channels and voice their concerns!

 

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            And I will now tell you something very disappointing and very distressing: the American Jewish Committee has called on the Knesset to reject the bills that could sharply curb foreign donations to these Israel non‑governmental groups. They called to stop this legislation — ADL — the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, yes, I name names! That shouldn’t bother them, they should be proud of their positions! It’s on their website! Abe Foxman of the ADL said, “We are concerned that the passage of these bills could negatively impact Israel’s vibrant civil society and democratic conditions. We urge you to end these bills.” Abe Foxman from the ADL, Ladies and Gentlemen; what is wrong with our people?

 

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            Because of our work, the Palestinian Authority put out a press release saying, “the Ministry of Information has denounced in a strongly worded statement the incitement campaign provoked by the Zionist Organization of America in the US against the Palestinian Authority as a flagrant intervention in the internal affairs of the Palestinians.” That made me proud. The Palestinian Authority doesn’t seem to like us.

 

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            And the top Arab-American activist, James Zogby wrote, and I quote: “the vocal and muscular ZOA has risen like a Phoenix, has forced newspapers to change maps, forced politicians to change their votes. The ZOA’s efforts must be combatted. If ZOA’s campaigns go unanswered, ZOA will win.” Mr. Zogby, let me make this perfectly clear: with the help of the people in this room and Israel’s friends around the country, we will win!!!

 

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            My primary message is we dare not, as Mr. Beck reminds us, ignore the truth of the ongoing Arab Islamic war against Israel, Jews and the West. I am personally getting sick and tired of leaders around the world continuously saying what some of us might want to hear, but not the truth which we need to hear; they keep saying, “We can have peace in the Middle East. Just give a little more land, a little more money to the Arabs. A little more restraint. A little more appeasement.” They tell us this will end the war against Israel.

Well, let me state my opinion of the truth: the Arabs do not want peace with the Jewish state of Israel; the Arabs never wanted peace with the Jewish state of Israel and let me tell you something else, as much as we all want Israel to have peace with the Arabs, Israel can and will survive and thrive without peace with the Arabs as it has since 1948!!!

 

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            We… American leaders, American Jewish leaders and Israeli leaders should remind the world the Arabs were offered a state in 1937; they said no; in 1948 they were offered a state, they said no. From ’48 to ’67, they controlled all of Judea and Samaria, Gaza, Eastern Jerusalem, the Sinai, the Golan, and they never created a Palestinian Arab state. In 2000, Ehud Barak offered them a state with 95% of the disputed land, they said no. In 2008: Olmert offered them a state with 98% of the disputed land, they said no. What does it take for us to understand, they want Israel’s destruction, not peace?

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            And, I must hold up this map of the Middle East: the orange are the twenty‑two Arab countries, double the size of the United States of America. This blue, which you can really not see in the center, is the Jewish state of Israel: it comprises one eighth of one percent of the lands of the Middle East! And yet leaders and presidents and others from around the world say, “The way to solve this problem is called ‘Land for Peace.’” Who are they asking to give up the land, ladies and gentlemen? Who are they asking to give up the land? The whole thing is nonsense! If the Jews had 22 states and the Arabs had one, would the world ask the tiny Arab states to give up more Arab land for a 23rd Jewish state?

 

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            Congress, the administration and Israel must start exposing these painful truths. We must proclaim these truths loudly! The Oslo Process had three legs: they’ve all been broken. The first leg requires the PA to fight and prevent terrorism. But, they don’t arrest terrorists! And, they demand terrorists be released. Now, if you want peace with Israel, why do you demand that terrorists be released who might complicate peace by murdering more Jews? If you really want peace, you want those terrorists to remain in prison. But the Palestinian Authority doesn’t!

They didn’t outlaw terrorist groups as the Oslo agreement required; they didn’t get rid of illegal weapons; they didn’t close bomb factories; they’ve done none of this. Instead, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and Khalid Mashal, the head of the terrorist group Hamas, signed a treaty on May 4 of this year, in Egypt, and another one more recently in Qatar, making an alliance. Hamas and Fatah now are allied. The Hamas Charter not only calls for Israel’s destruction, ladies and gentlemen: Article VII calls for the murder of every Jew! It calls for the murder of every Jew! It’s a Nazi-like document and nobody says this! No newspaper says they’re calling for murder of most of the people in this room and your families! And yet, we are considering setting up a Hamas/Fatah state. This is absurd! And I’m calling on members of Congress, the Administration and Israel to make this truth clear! If you call for the murder of every Jew as Hamas and Fatah clerics do, you can be called Nazi-like terrorists!!!

 

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The second leg of Oslo requires the PA to accept Israel’s right to exist; the Fatah, not the PLO, the Fatah Covenant, Abbas’ Covenant, repeatedly calls for Israel’s destruction. There’s not a single map in the Palestinian Authority that shows Israel, even within the ’67 lines! It shows only “Palestine.” The textbooks refer to the “Zionist entity.” Palestinian ambassadors only in the last month, ladies and gentlemen, from Brazil to Lebanon and in South America, have made public speeches in the last month saying Israel must disappear! Israel must disappear! Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage against the Hamas Alliance? Where is the outrage against the Palestinian Authority officials saying Israel must disappear? Instead, we continue to fund the Palestinian Authority to the tune of almost $1,000,000,000 a year. This U.S. funding must stop.

 

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            If you can see this, this is the emblem, ladies and gentlemen, that Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad commissioned to be the emblem for Fatah, the Palestinian Authority ruling party. You see a shape of all of Israel with an Arab headdress over all of it! You see Arafat in the middle of a circle; you see a Kalashnikov rifle. It’s promoting terrorism, Israel’s destruction and glorifying an arch Jew-killing terrorist. If you want peace with the Jewish state, is this the emblem you commission to have made as your official emblem? I’ve never seen anyone report on this emblem in the New York Times, in the LA Times, anywhere in the country. I’ve never heard a single public American official, or even Israeli official, hold this up and speak about it saying, “unless you rescind this despicable emblem, all bets are off: no negotiations, no money, no concessions, nothing!!” Why are we not speaking out against something like this that tells the whole truth? It tells the whole truth!!!

 

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            The third leg of Oslo was to end the promotion of hatred and violence against Jews in their media, in their schools, in their sermons. It never happened. How do you think, ladies and gentlemen, the Palestinian Authority gets Arabs to be willing to be suicide bombers? To kill themselves, in order to murder Jews? The Palestinians think killing Jews is a mitzvah.

In their schools, they have textbooks and lectures and articles saying the Jews are evil; the Jews are the enemy; the Jews are fanatics; the Jews kill Muslims and Christians; the Jews are treacherous; the Jews are the enemies of the prophets; the Jews foment wars and are evil racists!! And yet, this is ignored.

In their newspapers, they say that Jews infect Arab babies at Hadassah Hospital with the AIDS virus, with cancer viruses; that they poison Arabs regularly. This is in the newspapers regularly, not here or there, and this is in the official Palestinian Authority newspapers. Mahmoud Abbas just made a speech saying Israel’s aim is the destruction of humanity! And the schools and media teach that Haifa and other cities in Israel are part of Palestine!

They honor terrorists who have murdered Jews regularly! Mahmoud Abbas and his officials in the last few months have made speeches, ladies and gentlemen, saying, “Once we get a state of Palestine, not one Jew will be allowed to live in it.” This is the height of racism and everyone has been silent about it. Imagine if Israel said, “Not one Arab will be allowed to live in Israel.” Or, “not one Christian will be allowed to live in Israel.” The world would go berserk; the Arabs are saying this regularly and we ignore it and we ignore it at our peril. We must speak out about these issues!

And let me tell you something else, after the horrible massacre of the Fogel family, you remember the five people… three kids including one baby who were murdered as well as their parents, the very next day, ladies and gentlemen, the PA named an entire square after Dalal Mughrabi, the biggest Jew‑killing terrorist the Palestinian Authority’s ever known. She murdered thirty‑seven Jews; the next day after this massacre, they named it after this woman and there was hardly a peep from anyone in the world, or from any Jewish organization — a few, but not many. Five days later, a low-level State Department bureaucrat, after pressure from ZOA, criticized this event.

Every time a suicide bomber kills himself, the Palestinian Authority publishes posters of the suicide bomber, such as this one — it’s a real poster. I took it off a high school in Ramallah. This is a man who murdered Jews; it shows Israeli buses being blown up; it shows a Jewish star with blood flowing through it. And the headline in Arabic says, “Our hero, our martyr, our leader.” They honor and glorify terrorists like this. Why are we silent and not saying unless you stop this, unless you stop naming dozens of schools, streets and sports teams after Jew‑killing terrorists – yes, they do that too — we will have nothing to do with you: no statehood, no money, no recognition, no meetings, no nothing!!

 

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            And this incitement works. In a recent poll, I’m talking about last month, seventy‑three percent of Palestinian Arabs, seventy‑three percent, ladies and gentlemen, support the murder of every Jew. Did you hear what I just said? Seventy‑three percent, when asked do you believe in murdering all the Jews? Seventy-three percent say yes!! So, this works. These words are powerful. The Talmud teaches us that words are so powerful that a mountain can hang by the thread of a single word. That’s how powerful words are.

In a recent poll, because of all this incitement, 85% of Palestinians say they oppose peace if it means any compromise on the right of return, Jerusalem, borders or settlements. 85% said no compromise or we don’t want peace! But these truths are not promoted and talked about in the United States of America or Europe or even much in Israel.

And yet, the world says the way to solve this problem is to establish a Palestinian state. Just give them a state and things will be fine! When Congress members say that to us, we say, “Syria has a state; Iran has a state; North Korea has a sovereign state: are they lovely? Are they peace‑loving entities?” No, it’s the opposite; by their having states and sovereignty, they have more strength and power to promote the underlying agenda of fighting the West, fighting Jews and fighting Christians. Statehood increases the danger when you have this type of horrific culture and ideology; not better. That’s why we dare not establish a Palestinian state.

Mahmoud Abbas, in a recent New York Times Op-ed, when asked will a State end all of your claims, he said and I’m quoting what he wrote: “Palestine’s admission to the UN as a state would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter. It would pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the UN, Human Rights Treaty Bodies and the International Court of Justice.” He openly says, “Statehood won’t end it.” So why on earth should we even dream of such a possibility? At his recent UN speech, Abbas condemned Israel for 63 years of occupation. That’s since 1948! He openly states Israel shouldn’t exist. All of Israel is Arab land. Where is the outrage at those sorts of statements?

  And let me tell you, when leaders of Jewish organizations met with President Obama last March at the White House, not only didn’t the President mention any of the things I just talked about, he said this to us, it was written publicly: “Is Israel serious about peace? I wonder. You, as Jewish leaders, must talk to the Israelis, to your Israeli friends and relatives and search your souls. How badly do you really want peace? Israelis think this peace business is over-rated. Their life is good. Their economy is good. Things are quiet. Do you really want peace?” This is what he said to us. Then he added, “We all know that Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad are very sincere about peace but will Netanyahu make the territorial concessions necessary, that’s what the Palestinians doubt.”

I’ve given you the exact quotes; I was taking copious notes while I was sitting there. [I] couldn’t believe my ears when I heard these words from the President of the United States. But finally, American Jews understand. For the first time since Oslo began, in a recent poll over half of the American Jews oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state by 55% to 38%!

 

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            Thank G-d almighty!!!

 

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            In addition to this, a great existential danger exists! Iran is repeatedly boasting that they will destroy Israel, United States and the West and murder every Jew… We dare not let them get nuclear weapons. President George Bush Senior wrote about the Holocaust, “how many lives might have been saved if appeasement had given way to force earlier on in the late thirties and early forties? How many Jews might have been spared?” We dare not allow the situation to develop where we have to make this type of statement later, in the future and we might, G-d forbid, if Iran gets nuclear weapons, we must stop Iran with all our might.

And I will end by quoting from the head of the United Nations, who said “the whole world is demanding that Israel withdraw and give up more land. I don’t think the whole world,” he said, “including the Friends of Israel, the friends of the Israeli people and the friends of the Israeli government can be wrong.” He said, “Can the whole world be wrong and only you Jews are right?” Well, let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, when Israel destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor, the whole world condemned Israel. Israel was right; the whole world was wrong. The whole world believed in many gods; the whole world was wrong, we were right. We Jews alone preached belief in one G-d; we preached one day of rest. The whole ancient world mocked us as a lazy people. We were right; the whole world was wrong. The whole world said we crucified a Jew, Jesus, as if Jews had such a punishment in our code and we insisted such a thing was beyond impossible. The whole world said we used children’s blood to make matzah; we denied it. The whole world was wrong, we were right. They said we poisoned the wells of Europe; the whole world was wrong. We were right. The crusades, the blood libels, the Talmud burnings in England and France, leading those nations to expel Jews for centuries; the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, Dreyfus in France… The world was wrong, wrong, wrong.

Ladies and gentlemen, once again, we Jews proclaim the Palestinian Arabs want to destroy us and destroy Israel and don’t deserve any more concessions. The whole world who demands appeasing the Arabs and Israel making more one-sided concessions are wrong.

 

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            It is high time for public officials in Israel, public officials in America, public officials in Europe and Jewish organizational leaders and Rabbis and Christian leaders start telling the whole truth about the Palestinian Arabs, that their goal is our destruction, not a state in any way, shape or form. If we repeat this message and make this message clear, the world will have less sympathy for the Palestinian Authority and more sympathy for Israel and understand the danger to Israel and the Jews and the West. It’s time to go out on the offensive and stop with this defensive nonsense, begging for negotiations with the PA and pleading to make more “painful” concessions. The three legs of the Oslo accords collapsed years ago. It’s high time to make that truth known and refuse any more discussions until the Palestinians fully fulfill all of their written obligations to fight terror, accept Israel as a Jewish state and end all incitements demonizing and delegitimizing Israel. That’s our only chance for a real peace. Otherwise, peace will remain an illusion. 

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen!!

 

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