Scrutinizing America’s “Conference of Presidents”

It is desirable for Israelis to be apprised of how the CoP’s composition contrasts with the views of American Jewry—as reflected by the recent WZO election in America—due to concern that the CoP is poised to abandon traditional Zionism.

An epic struggle between the Zionist Organization of America and progressive Jewish non-profits threatens to trigger an organizational crack-up within the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (the “CoP”).

Yet, few American Jews know that the 54 members of the CoP were ambushed into electing a CoP Chairwoman, Dianne Lob, who had previously led the “post-Jewish” HIAS organization.

And even fewer know the flawed civic practices of HIAS and other “progressive” entities of which they are members—and to which they faithfully donate time, dues and fealty.

They must embark on a crash course to attain awareness of the policies of these predominantly left-of-center groups … and then to decide whether a personal intervention is indicated.

The journey starts by learning the results of  the recent seven-week U.S. election for delegates to the World Zionist Organization, which garnered 123,629 votes, more than double the turnout of the last election in 2015 and the highest number since the election began for the entire American Jewish community 30 years ago.

My analysis of these data documented the stark electoral dichotomy between the CoP and the WZO:  the American-Jewish public explicitly elected a majority of pro-Zionist delegates in the WZO election—led by the two dozen members of the ZOA Coalition.

In contrast, at the CoP, pro-Zionist organizations are vastly outnumbered by post-Zionist entities; this explains why Ms. Lob was elected by 31 of the latter (noting five abstentions and five no-shows).

Both the CoP and WZO umbrella groups are historically “pro-Zionist.” The WZO promotes its Jerusalem Program that instills the centrality of Israel and its capital Jerusalem deep within Jewish consciousness and encourages aliyah, the return to Zion. The CoP advocates advancing the U.S.-Israel special relationship by bolstering Israel’s security and promoting U.S. national interests.

The ZOA has worked to keep both the WZO and the CoP true to these pro-Zionist, pro-America positions.  For instance, these principles prompted the ZOA to oppose admitting J Street to the CoP and to challenge the Anti-Defamation League to defend supporting aggressive left-wing advocacy.

The consistently courageous character of ZOA is the embodiment of how multiple authors have equated accruing select “enemies” with achieving greatness.

The need to maintain pro-Zionist policies also explains why the ZOA campaigned to oppose elevating the leader of HIAS to become the leader of the CoP, yielding escalated conflict.

HIAS dropped the word “Hebrew” from its name in 2014, because its CEO and President, Mark Hetfield, claimed that the word “Hebrew” was exclusionary.

Concomitantly, HIAS corrupted its traditional charge, shifting its focus from helping Jewish “immigrants” to advocating for non-Jewish, largely Muslim “refugees.”  HIAS also extended this subtle evolution into supporting open borders with Mexico and, recently, globally.

In the process, HIAS trashed President Trump’s actions and others who fear an influx of anti-Jewish, anti-American Islamists.  For example, on Lob’s watch, HIAS forged links with Jew-hater & Israel-basher Linda Sarsour and with BDS-promoters.

Quoting ZOA National President Morton A. Klein:  “HIAS has been initiating and has long been involved in divisive, left-wing litigation and public advocacy on the national and international stage, in opposition to the U.S. federal, state, local and Israeli governments. HIAS’s litigation positions are detrimental to the safety of the American (and especially, American Jewish) public.”

Thus, in her tenure at the helm of HIAS, Ms. Lob unambiguously violated the CoP’s manifesto.  Ms. Lob’s record raises grave concerns that her upcoming leadership of the CoP may poison how the CoP will fulfill its mission to support Israel, the Israel-America relationship, and America.

The CoP has thus fallen into the hands of progressive organizations who have abandoned the basic Zionist principles cherished by the American-Jewish public.

Therefore, dues-paying members of the CoP’s member organizations must awaken to the need to rescind ascendancy of a stalking horse for strategies that are inimical to the CoP’s classic reputation.

About the Author
Robert B. Sklaroff MD is a physician-activist who is a radical, liberal, moderate, conservative, reactionary [depending upon the topic] who has developed many political stances that scrupulously attempt to identify the "nut" of "hot" issues; although predictions are notoriously deficient [as assiduously chronicled by my son], my insights are durable. I have also written about medical politics [particularly Vaping and ObamaDon'tCare] and have attempted to articulate the action-item [that I have often pursued absent support]. Aggressively followed is the discipline of capturing and then addressing all reputable perspectives; the reader is thereby maximally "armed" to critique the output.
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