Mort Klein Faces First Challenge as Head of Zionist Organization of America

Steven Goldberg Cites Need for Renewal — Not Change in Path

Mort’s Challenge: Morton Klein, left, the longtime leader of the Zionist Organization is facing a challenge — from a fellow right winger.
naomi zeveloff
Mort’s Challenge: Morton Klein, left, the longtime leader of the Zionist Organization is facing a challenge — from a fellow right winger.

By Hody Nemes

Published March 08, 2014.
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Goldberg, who is based in Los Angeles, has called the election “stacked,” in part because the vote will be held in Philadelphia, Klein’s hometown – and ZOA members must be physically present in order to vote. The previous ZOA convention was held in 2010 in New York City.

“This is the first contested election in 20 years,” Goldberg said. “It happens to be in Philadelphia, where his friends are.”

On his campaign website, Klein dismisses Goldberg’s charge as “absurd,” noting, “the location was set months before the opponent announced that he was running.” Goldberg said his election bid was common knowledge long before he filed as a candidate. He believes the ZOA national board chose Philadelphia under the assumption he would challenge Klein.

David Drimer, ZOA’s national executive director, insisted there was nothing sinister in the selection of Philadelphia for the vote’s venue.

“It was looked on very favorably because it’s far less expensive to house people and to cater in Philadelphia,” he said. “Also it is really conveniently located for the mass of our most active members.”

Goldberg claimed he has broad support from ZOA members, many of whom will not be able to attend the convention because they can’t afford the cost or the time away from their jobs. Older members may not be able to make the trip for health reasons.

“I think every member should have the right to vote,” he said. “They’ve donated time, the effort, and the money.”

Drimer said ZOA’s constitution states that decisions made at the convention require a “majority vote of those present and voting.” According to the ZOA’s leadership, that means members must be physically present.

Goldberg scoffed at Drimer’s interpretation, which he claimed was rooted in the past.

“It can be interpreted in different ways. You can be present via the internet,” he said. “This was written a long time ago before there was this technology.”


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