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February 13, 2014 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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ZOA leader Morton Klein is "deeply troubled" with the
Kerry peace talks and U.S. efforts to block a nuclear Iran.

David Sachs

"By 63-11, they say the P.A. should
recognize Israel as the sovereign state
of the Jewish people. By 55-13, they say
Jerusalem should remain the undivided
capital of Israel.
"Every question we posed had a strong
pro-Israel response by the American peo-
ple," Klein said. "It's the American people
that keep Congress strongly pro-Israel, not
the 'Jewish lobby.' If Christians stopped
supporting Israel, we could lobby until
we're blue in the face, and Congress would
no longer be supportive of Israel."
Klein spoke at Adat Shalom Synagogue
in Farmington Hills Feb. 5 on "The Iran
Nuclear Deal — Progress or Peril?" He sat
down for an interview at the Jewish News
offices in Southfield earlier that day.
Klein cited other polls showing that
Jewish support of Israel is even stronger
than among the general U.S. population.
"Jews now understand a Palestinian
state would be a disaster for Israel. Missiles
will be coming from the West Bank into

Senior Copy Editor

S

upporters of Israel should
take comfort in a poll of 1,000
Americans that the Zionist
Organization of America issued a few
weeks ago, said Morton Klein, the ZOAs
national president.
"It shows that on every issue involving
Israel, Americans support the Israeli posi-
tion, not President Obama's or the Arab
position:' Klein said.
"By 58-17 percent, they say a Palestinian
Authority (P.A.) state would be a terrorist
state. By 47-14, Americans say they sup-
port the right of Jews to have settlements.
By 59-17, they support stronger Iranian
sanctions.
"By 51-28, they believe Obama has not
done all he can to prevent Iran from get-
ting nuclear weapons. Only 30 percent of
Americans say Obama is a close and reli-
able friend to Israel.

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Tel Aviv. When Israel gives away land, it
becomes a terror base. How many times
does it have to happen before we under-
stand this?" Klein said.
"The issue isn't land; it isn't statehood:'
he asserted. "If the Palestinians wanted a
state, they could have had it under [offers
made in 2000 and 2008, respectively, by
former Israeli Prime Ministers] Ehud
Barak and Ehud Olmert. The Palestinians
said 'no' because it required them to say
ZOA leader Morton Klein
`no further claims against Israel."'
Klein said the ZOA was the only orga-
He offered 98 percent [of the West Bank].
nization predicting that the 1993 Oslo
He was going to throw 150,000 Jews out
peace agreements between Israel and
of their homes, and they said 'no. And
the Palestinians would be a disaster. He
that was under current P.A. President
said mainstream Jewish leaders publicly
Mahmoud Abbas."
attacked him and the ZOA, calling him
an extremist, the "thought police the
Iran's Nuclear Threat
"new Kahane" and a warmonger. "They
Klein said that the interim deal with Iran
didn't attack me on substance, saying I was
regarding its nuclear program allows it
wrong. It was just name-calling," Klein
to keep 19,000 centrifuges and all its ura-
said.
nium, and allows continuing research and
"Nobody calls ZOA names anymore on
development of higher-level centrifuges.
these issues. Because everyone now real-
"One can only say that President Obama
izes, tragically, we were right."
at a minimum is not doing what he can to
stop them," Klein said. "And one can argue
The Kerry Peace Talks
he's comfortable with Iran getting nuclear
Klein is very skeptical about U.S. Secretary
weapons because he says repeatedly he will
of State John Kerry's current shuttle diplo-
not use military action against Iran."
macy between Israel and the P.A. "We're
Iran's leaders make continuous speeches
deeply troubled because Kerry seems to
proclaiming "death to America," Klein said.
have become the lawyer for the Palestinian
"Obama has not asked Iran to dismantle a
Arabs," he said.
single aspect of its nuclear program. He has
taken the Iranian position over a bipartisan
"Kerry made speeches a month ago say-
ing if there's no deal, terror could break out group of senators to have a sanctions bill
again — as if to legitimize that terror could that simply asks that there will be addi-
tional sanctions if Iran violates this interim
break out, as opposed to saying, 'even if
there's no deal, don't you dare start a ter-
agreement. Meanwhile, Obama is pressur-
rorism intifada again.
ing Israel.
"Hitler had the means to kill millions of
"It's outrageous; it's not how you come to
an agreement. And most recently, he said
Jews and warned us that he would in Mein
if there's no deal, the delegitimization of
Kampf and in his speeches," said Klein,
Israel and potential increase of boycotts of
who was born to Holocaust survivors in a
Israel may happen — as opposed to saying
displaced person's camp in Germany after
if that happens, it would be unjust and out- World War II. "Iranians, if they develop
rageous, and we'll do everything to make
nuclear weapons, will have the means to
sure that doesn't happen. He said it as to
`destroy the Zionist entity, as they repeat-
give it somewhat of a green light.
edly state:'
Klein has faith that Israeli Prime
"Even if Israel would compromise on
the status of Jerusalem, that wouldn't be
Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu would
enough for the P.A. to sign on the dotted
act militarily to destroy Iran's nuclear capa-
bilities, if necessary.
line, that the war against Israel is over,"
"I've met with him many times," said
Klein said.
Klein. "His father, Benzion, was a close
"It won't come to that because they're
friend of mine. I learned a lot about Bibi
going to have to allow Israel to have troops
in the Jordan Valley. They're going to have
from him.
"Bibi clearly is most committed to doing
to allow Jews to remain living in most of
the communities there.
everything in his power to stop Iran from
"I don't think the Palestinian Authority
getting nuclear weapons. So, I truly believe
that Bibi will use military action if he feels
would make a deal, even if Israel were
to offer astonishing concessions. Omert
there's no other way to stop it."
offered it. He offered half of Jerusalem.
Klein said also he doesn't believe that

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