Flag of Israel.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The World Zionist Organization approved the appointment on Monday of Uri Zaki, former director of B’Tselem USA, to a senior position in the organization’s Department for Zionist Enterprises.
Zaki previously served as a consultant to Human Rights Watch and as chairman of Tze’irei Meretz, the youth arm of the left-wing Meretz party.
His appointment has garnered opposition from some right-leaning groups, who claim his previous posts in “anti-Zionist” organizations such as B’Tselem make him unfit to hold the position.
Zaki was recommended for the post by Dror Morag, former Meretz secretary-general and director of the WZO’s Herzl Center and current head of the Zionist Enterprises department.
On Sunday, Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg wrote a letter to WZO chairman Avraham Duvdevani with a request to prevent the appointment of Zaki.
“The WZO cannot incorporate a man into their ranks who served as director of B’Tselem USA, an organization that deliberately and explicitly calls for sanctions on Israel in international institutions,” he wrote.
Drawing upon the symbolic history of the Hanukka holiday, Peleg wrote: “During these days, when the Jewish people are reciting the Hanukka blessing of ‘in those days, in these times,’ it is worth recalling that the Maccabean revolt broke out against the backdrop of sanctions imposed on the Jewish people by a foreign ruler – Antiochus – which were encouraged by a small Jewish elite minority known as the ‘Hellenists.’ “We must insist that at this time, as in the days of old, the Jewish people condemn every attempt of the nations of the world to impose sanctions and forced impositions on the Jewish people,” he wrote.
Peleg called on the WZO not to confirm the appointment until he “declares outright that he strongly opposes the policy of B’Tselem, whose CEO just recently called for international intervention against Israel at the United Nations.”
A spokeswoman for the WZO told The Jerusalem Post that the organization had no comment regarding the appointment other than to confirm that Zaki’s nomination had been approved.