ZOA Donation Was Legitimate


A recent article about Zionist Organization of America President Mort Klein is filled with inaccurate allegations (“Qatar Spat is ZOA’s Klein’s Latest Battle,” JT online). Here are the facts.

On Nov. 2, ZOA innocently and legitimately accepted a Jewish businessman’s generous donation for tables at the ZOA gala. The donor gave every indication that he was donating his own funds: The checks listed his private home address, and he told Klein he was donating because he “loved ZOA’s pro- Israel work,” wanted to become “active, one of our top five donors, join ZOA’s board,” and urge his “wealthy Jewish friends to donate.”

When a filing last week indicated his funds had possible links to Qatar, ZOA promptly returned the donation to eliminate any hint of impropriety. There were no conditions, either expressed or implied, attached to the donation. Ever.

This donor advised that Qatar was moving to change its policies to become more pro-Israel and pro-American, and Klein’s meeting with them could boost such progress, benefitting Israel and America. Klein refused to visit Qatar, despite the donor’s requests, before and after receipt of the checks.

After major Zionists Malcolm Hoenlein, Alan Dershowitz, Mike Huckabee and others agreed to visit Qatar, and after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised Qatar for “improvements made in fighting terror,” and after turning down an invitation for four months, Klein decided to visit in January 2018. He went armed with ZOA’s 50-page report detailing Qatar’s troubling policies and ZOA’s demands to benefit Israel and the Jewish people. Significantly, Klein was instrumental in obtaining cancellation of Al Jazeera’s anti-Israel documentary scheduled to run last February, and removal of anti-Semitic books from Qatar’s book fair.

Notwithstanding this, Klein continued to criticize Qatar. In a Feb. 2 interview, Klein stated, “I was and will be tough on Qatar and until they change … I won’t be supportive of Qatar,” and “my feelings will remain negative until they have taken substantial steps for an extended period of time.” He also condemned the emir’s U.N. speech blaming Israel for lack of peace and Qatar’s Jerusalem positions.

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  1. We Baltimoreans know better than to believe anything Mort Klein – or any of his stooges- say at face value. In Baltimore, Mort Klein’s name is mud, and has been for decades, since his ballot-stuffing coup ousted Baltimorean Jim Schiller from the role of ZOA president

    E.g., re: Klein’s claim in the article that when he was elected ZOA president in 1993, “at the time, he didn’t even want the position” : totally bogus. Philly-based Klein stuffed the ballot box to get elected. The election was held in Baltimore, and Klein shipped in busloads of his myrmidons from Philadelphia to secure his victory. Once he assumed that office, Klein has sidestepped the ZOA bylaws’ term limits for that position, setting himself up as national president for life. There, he has cultivated an almost cult-like following, highlighted by intolerance of dissent from his policies (or as one Jewish Times editorial put it, “Klein and the ZOA are one and the same”).

    As a blog poster once famously put it, “Mort Klein could give management tips on command-and control-techniques to Kim Jong Un.”


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