American Jews are “frightened of making an issue seem more important to Jews than others,” said Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein on Tuesday. In Israel as a member of a delegation organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Klein sat down to speak with the Jerusalem Post in the lobby of Jerusalem’s Inbal hotel to provide his take on the issues facing organized American Jewry.
The ZOA, which is a member of the Conference of Presidents, was founded in 1897 and is what Klein calls “the oldest pro-Israel [organization] in the United States.”Discussing the his lobbying effort in Washington aimed at blocking the confirmation of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, Klein said that the ZOA was, aside from the Republican Jewish Coalition, a partisan group, “the only major Jewish group to publicly oppose Hagel and Brenan.”
The “AJC, AIPAC, ADL [and] the Conference of Presidents never came out and said we oppose this man because he is horrible on Iran, he is horrible on terrorism, horrible on Israel, horrible on fighting radical Islam,” Klein said. “I was called by major Jewish leaders, personally called, and [they] told me to stop our campaign against Hagel.”