“They only call me names — racist, bigot, xenophobe. They don’t say one word about what I’ve said as to why it’s inaccurate or incorrect,” said Morton Klein, president of the ZOA.
By Josh Plank, World Israel News
Numerous left-wing American Jewish organizations have united to strongly denounce Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton Klein for making comments critical of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“As progressive pro-Israel organizations and members of the American Jewish community, we are appalled and outraged by the bigotry and hatred expressed and promoted by Morton Klein,” said a joint statement issued by J Street, the New Israel Fund, Partners for Progressive Israel, Reconstructing Judaism, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and T’ruah on June 11.
“Klein’s latest outbursts and long track record of bigotry should make him unwelcome in any mainstream Jewish communal spaces and should lead to his expulsion from organizational umbrella groups such as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations,” the statement said.
Sixteen of the 51 member organizations of the Conference of Presidents issued a separate letter on June 12 condemning Klein’s comments. The organizations included the Union of Reform Judaism, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, National Council of Jewish Women, Americans for Peace Now, HIAS, and Ameinu.
“At this delicate and critical juncture in American history, Jews of all colors must stand up for black lives and against senseless hatred and divisive bigotry,” the letter said. “There is no room for hate in organized Jewish life.”
The groups pointed to two of Klein’s tweets as the target of their condemnation.
“BlackLivesMatter is an antisemitic, Israel hating Soros funded racist extremist Israelophobic hate group,” the ZOA president tweeted on June 6.
In another tweet on the same day, he said, “I urge the SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center] to immediately put BlackLivesMatter on their list of hate groups. BLM is a Jew hating, White hating, Israel hating, conservative Black hating, violence promoting, dangerous Soros funded extremist group of haters.”
Klein commented on the attempt to remove the ZOA from the Conference of Presidents, an organization the ZOA helped found in 1956, in an interview with the Mark Levin Show on June 12. “They want to throw me out for one reason,” Klein said. “They want to reduce my credibility and demonize me so people won’t listen to me. This is their tactic.”
He said, “They only call me names — racist, bigot, xenophobe. They don’t say one word about what I’ve said as to why it’s inaccurate or incorrect. It’s just name-calling to try to drive me out, even though everything I’ve said, I simply wrote what was in the platform of the anti-semitic Black Lives movement.”
Klein said he believes people are scared to death of Black Lives Matter. “They’re afraid of antagonizing them,” he said. “If they say to Mort Klein, ‘you’re a bigot, you’re a racist, stop condemning Black Lives Matter,’ they feel they’ll be protected.”
Alan Dershowitz, professor of law at Harvard University, told the Jewish Broadcasting Service in an interview on June 10, “If there is an attempt to throw Mort Klein [out], I will defend him politically, and if necessary, I will defend him legally.”