Zionist Organization of America

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Founded in 1897, the Zionist Organization of America is the oldest Zionist organization in the United States. It opposes a Palestinian state, both because it regards Palestinians as not working in the peace process, and because it advocates the "right of Jews to live anywhere in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria."[1] Morton Klein is president chairman.

It has 30,000 members and chapters throughout the United States, and works

to strengthen US-Israeli relations...The ZOA is the only organization that documents and exposes Palestinian Arab violations of the Road Map plan. The ZOA leads the efforts on behalf of American victims of Palestinian Arab terrorism. The ZOA's campaigns have repeatedly led to the defeat of hostile critics of Israel who were nominated for important government positions. The ZOA has played a key role in Congress regarding victims of terrorism, keeping Jerusalem unified under Israeli sovereignty, fighting Hamas and Fatah, and working on the imposition of sanctions on Syria and Saudi Arabia.[2]


While it has considerable lobbying influence, it is generally considered less powerful than the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which does support a two-state solution, with substantial caution. ZOA, in May 2009, however, opposed AIPAC from the hard-line position, attacking the idea of a Palestinian state. [3]

In their Fall 2009 report, they describe their lobbying program as responsive to "President Obama’s hostility towards Israel". Their two highest priorities are Iranian threats to Israel, both through nuclear weapons threat to Israel and its "its surrogates in Gaza and Lebanon," and stopping the "flow of US financial and material aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) (approximately $1 billion now), and to halt the mistaken and misguided US-Israeli effort to create a Palestinian terrorist state out of Judea and Samaria."[4]

With respect to Iran, their position is "The time to stop Iran through sanctions is probably past us now. Still, the ZOA supports economic sanctions and divestment efforts against Iran, and has supported sanctions on the import of refined petroleum products to Iran as proposed most recently by Senator Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), and Representatives Howard Berman (D-California) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (D--Florida). Given the attempts by the regime in Iran to ignore the results of its own election, every opportunity to destabilize the regime should be pursued. The ZOA’s Government Relations Department is working hard to build a consensus of support for Israel within Congress should military action against Iran become necessary."

Their stance regarding the Palestinian Authority is that in addition to the threat of Hamas, "Fatah is an equally vicious and violent anti-Israel terrorist movement...A related issue is the ongoing US pressure on Israel to make greater unrequited concessions for 'peace.'"

Political appointments

ZOA takes credit for being the key block to the nomination of Chas Freeman to head the National Intelligence Council. "The ZOA exposed Freeman’s vicious anti- Israel record and his connections to the tyrannical regimes in Saudi Arabia and China and urged that his nomination be rescinded." [5] Freeman, in a CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria, indeed pointed to ZOA's role, saying of ZOA, "Of course, they do not admit, but it is a fact, that they engaged in a truly libelous campaign of selective misquotation and distortion." Zakaria asked his audience to comment on this, and, a week later, Zakaria said he had received more emails on this than any other other topic. "Many of our viewers took exception to his reasoning, and even to the term "Israel lobby." But the question was raised by the interview, so I wanted to get your views. We received more e-mails on this issue than any other we've addressed. And a sizable majority of our viewers said that, yes, the groups who lobby on behalf of Israel wield too much power. But those who believe these groups do not have undue influence were particularly passionate in their feeling, that these lobbyists are no more powerful than, say, the Cuban lobby or the NRA. And many felt that even asking the question raises the specter of anti-Jewish sentiment."[6]

Among these were a specific response from ZOA: was "Our research did not extend beyond the use of the internet, where our alleged 'selective misquotations' were amply provided by Freeman's own speeches.... The only things that 'libel' Freeman's reputation are his own vitriolic views."

Palestinian state

Its position is that of the zero-state solution, citing a Biblical and historic right of the Jewish people to have a state on both sides of the Jordan River, criticizing Barack Obama's Cairo speech, in its Fall 2009 report,

Obama also claimed that Israel’s creation was rooted in a tragic history of the Jews and the Holocaust. This is incorrect. First, for Bible believers, it was G-d who promised this land to the Jews; and second, the Balfour Declaration in 1917, and the League of Nations in 1922, mandated the creation of a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River – before the Holocaust occurred.[7]

The Balfour Declaration contains no language about a geographic right, and contains the language "it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine"[8]


In 2005, Klein called for the United Nations to expel Iran for what he termed "...the oblitration of the U.S. and Israel and the initiation of a religious war."[9]

Christian Zionism

ZOA national director Klein defended John Hagee, head of Christians United For Israel, as a "staunch friend and supporter of the State of Israel, of Zionism, and of the Jewish people...I do not necessarily agree with every theological interpretation or spiritual message that Pastor Hagee, or anyone else, has sought from the Shoah. But one thing is clear — any interpretation by Pastor Hagee about the Holocaust is not based on any animus towards the Jewish people, which his lifetime of extraordinary pro-Jewish, Pro-Israel work clearly demonstrates. In fact, many leading rabbinical scholars have offered the same interpretations and found the same spiritual messages. "[10]


  1. Petition For Jewish Rights In Jerusalem And Judea & Samaria, Zionist Organization of America, Aish Center, Manhattan Beach Jewish Center
  2. What is the ZOA?, Zionist Organization of America
  3. Ron Kampeas (7 May 2009), "Sitting between Bibi and Obama, AIPAC criticized by left and right", Jewish Telegraph Agency
  4. , Obama Gives Biased Speech, Inimical to Israel, Supportive of False Palestinian/Arab Claims, ZOA Report, Fall 2009, Zionist Organization of America, p. 13
  5. ZOA Report, Fall 2009, p. 12
  6. Fareed Zakaria (22 March 2009), "GPS", CNN
  7. ZOA Report, Fall 2009, p. 4
  8. Arthur Balfour, Balfour Declaration 1917, Avalon Project, Yale Law School
  9. ZOA: Iran Should Be Expelled From U.N. For Calling For Israel & U.S. To Be "Wiped Off The Map", Zionist Organization of America, 27 October 2005
  10. Morton A. Klein (May 29, 2008), ZOA Defends Pastor Hagee and Applauds His Support For Israel, Zionist Organization of America