ZOA Defends Its Criticisms


The JTA article you published (“These Jewish Groups Are Fighting — Even Physically…”, May 18) about ZOA criticizing some Jewish groups for their troubling policies and positions had many inaccuracies.

In fact, ZOA legitimately criticized National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) for signing a letter demanding that people stop “smearing” Linda Sarsour. It was not a “smear” for ZOA to expose Israel-basher Sarsour’s support for anti-Israel boycotts, and to expose Sarsour’s praise of Arab terrorists convicted of murdering Jews, and Sarsour’s litany of extreme, hateful statements.

ZOA likewise legitimately criticized ADL for praising the extremist group J Street, and for disseminating pro-BlackLivesMatter materials to schools around the country, and for other specific troubling policies.

ZOA legitimately criticized HIAS for bringing to America un-vettable Syrian Muslims who may well have hostile views toward Israel and Jews.

In the article, an ADL spokesman claimed ADL “investigated” ZOA lawyer Liz Berney’s report that ADL Director Jonathan Greenblatt physically assaulted her — and ADL wrongly called Berney’s report “baseless.” ADL never talked to the victim, Liz Berney, or to others whom we know of who are familiar with the incident. JTA spoke with six individuals who confirmed Ms. Berney’s contemporaneous accounts of the incident to them. ADL thus appears to be sweeping this serious incident under the rug, while maligning the victim.

ZOA remains concerned about all of our justified criticisms, and earnestly hopes that ADL, HIAS and NCJW will alter their policies and actions.

President Zionist Organization of America (ZOA)

is the National President of the Zionist Organization of America.