ZOA Accuses ADL of Hogging Spotlight

By Anthony Weiss

Published March 11, 2008, issue of March 21, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The campus of the University of California at Irvine, long a breeding ground for controversy and anti-Israel activism, has stirred up another fight — this time between a pair of Jewish organizations. Morton Klein, president of the pro-Israel advocacy group the Zionist Organization of America, has sent a scolding letter to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, accusing the ADL of doing too little about the anti-Israel activities at UC Irvine, and of trying to steal credit from the ZOA for bringing the issue to national attention.

The letter said that public statements by the ADL’s Orange County regional director create “the mis-impression that the ADL has been at the forefront of advocating change at UCI, when nothing could be further from the truth…. According to UCI students and faculty, to the extent there have been positive changes on the campus, the improvements are largely due to the ZOA’s legal effort.”

Foxman responded with his own letter to Klein, suggesting that both organizations deserved credit, and added, “We should be spending our time fighting anti-Semitism, not each other.”

Neither organization would comment for this story.

This is not the first time that Klein and Foxman have tangled. They have clashed frequently in the press, and in 1999 the two nearly came to blows at the ceremonial opening of the Israeli Pavilion at Disney World.

In October 2004, the ZOA filed a complaint against UC Irvine with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. In November 2007, the Department of Education dismissed the claims, saying that they were supported by “insufficient evidence.”

That finding was challenged by three Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — Arlen Specter, Jon Kyl and Sam Brownback — who sent a letter February 27 to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, asking her to clarify the department’s decision and questioning the department’s investigation and its findings.

Meanwhile, anti-Israel activism based at UC Irvine has continued apace, most recently on March 7, when the university’s Muslim Student Union organized a protest outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles. A video of the protest, taken by the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, showed firebrand Muslim cleric Amir Abdel Malik Ali urging Muslims to tell Zionists, “For us, you are the Nazis.”

Pro-Israel groups organized a counter-protest across the street.






Find us on Facebook!
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.