The ZOA is a vital and unique organization. Mort Klein has been the president for approximately 20 years, a very long time for one man to be in charge of such an important organization. Unfortunately, under his leadership, the ZOA has been shrinking over the past few years and is in danger of becoming irrelevant or of disappearing altogether. The ZOA has become sclerotic and desperately needs new blood.
For the first time in two decades, someone is challenging Mort Klein’s reign. ZOA National Chairman Steve Goldberg is running for ZOA President at the ZOA National Convention in Philadelphia on March 9-10, 2014.
Who is Steve Goldberg? Read his bio, here.
– in a strong and independent Israel that does not take orders from the international community, even the United States.
-Judea and Samaria belong to the Jewish people and should be officially annexed, just like all of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights were annexed after the Six Day War.
-the Oslo Accords were a tragic mistake, as were the abandonment of southern Lebanon in the year 2000 and the forced expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in 2005.
-the so-called two state solution was doomed to fail from the outset and should be declared dead and then buried–permanently.
-Eretz Yisrael belongs to the Jewish nation, and Israel’s claim to the land is rock solid. It is based on the bible, history and international law, including the Balfour Declaration, San Remo Conference, the Mandate for Palestine adopted by the League of Nations, and Chapter 80 of the U.N. Charter.
-To those who want to create a Palestinian state, I say one already exists. It’s called Jordan. But Israel should not be called upon to create another one by carving up its own homeland. That would be morally wrong and strategically stupid.
Under Mr. Klein’s leadership, the ZOA has taken the position of “not now” with respect to a Palestinian state. The ZOA has called attention to Palestinian incitement of hatred against Israel and the Jews, and the absence of a partner for peace, as reasons why now is not the time for the creation of a Palestinian state.
There should be no Palestinian state carved from Eretz Yisrael ever, as a matter of right and as a matter of survival. The ZOa must show leadership on this issue. The Israelis are worried that the Americans insist on the mirage of a two state solution. If we can help educate American Jews, Christian friends of Israel and American political leaders that there can never be a two state solution, the Israelis will see they have international support. It won’t be easy. It will take a sustained effort, and we will be attacked. But we have right, history and logic on our side, and it is important to stand up for the Jewish state without apology and without fear. It’s a start.
Of course Iran is also a grave threat. The Obama Administration is more concerned about stopping an Israeli military attack on Iran than on preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Diplomacy won’t work, and sanctions, while justified and even necessary, won’t be enough. Only military action will stop Iran from going nuclear. We know the United States will not do anything, even though Iran is a threat to the U.S. and indeed the entire Western world. So Israel will need to take preemptive military action to defend its people. The ZOA should begin efforts now to shore up support for Israel in the U.S. Congress and among the American people when this happens. We cannot wait until it is too late, just as Israel can’t wait.
To take these positions and be effective the ZOA needs to be strong and healthy. Right now it’s not. Watch Steve’s videos in which he explains what has gone wrong with the ZOA, why, and what he proposes to do to rejuvenate this very important organization.
Learn more through his video campaign.
What people say about Steve:
It is abundantly clear that the ZOA is crying out for new, fresh and vital leadership. While Mort Klein has been a respected and tenacious leader, it is time for him to hand over the presidency to a person with new ideas; a person of the highest degree of integrity and honesty. A person who will lead the ZOA in the next part of the 21st century with the kind of democratic mandate and transparency that the membership has been so sorely lacking until this juncture.
– The Jewish Voice
This is the kind of fierce and proud Zionist American Jewish leadership needs.
-Pamela Geller, renown blogger, author, and Zionist activist
For years as a small grassroots organization leader, I have watched the situation for Israel and the Jewish people deteriorate to a point of extreme danger. I have been horrified to learn of the insane salaries paid to many of the leadership of American Jewish organizations. Especially in this economy a donor must consider how much money has to be donated to salaries before it even goes to programs. Then consider the value of those programs in light of the dire situation for Israel and the Jewish people today. “Things are worse than ever – send us more money” is the appeal of today. It is really time for a change. ZOA has been around for almost 120 years and it is now time for ZOA to become the Zionist Organization of America. It is time to move it beyond one man. It is time for new leadership. It is time for Steve Goldberg. Watch the videos. Read about his background, dedication and connections. Most of all, it must be acknowledged that the situation for Israel and the Jewish people is dire and strong leadership is crucial.
-Doris Wise Montrose, President, Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
I had the privilege of working with Steve Goldberg when I served on the ZOA-West Board as the Young Professionals Chair. Steve is a strong advocate of working to get young people involved in the ZOA and it was under his guidance and support that I was able to build up young-professional involvement in the ZOA. He was so dedicated to this mission that, in fact, when he could, he even participated in our events! The participants loved to see someone who’s time is so valuable dedicating himself to realizing his own potential. I am certain Steve will make a committed, loyal, and honest President who will dedicate his time toward meaningful engagement with young activists while also accomplishing to the greatest extent the many other obligations required of a ZOA President.
Jessica Felber, PhD Candidate, YP Chair, ZOA-West, 2012-13
Ph.D. Program, Israel Studies, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, UCLA