Sunday, August 12, 2018

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON AT THE ZOA?

The Zionist Organization of America finds itself mired in one controversy after another -- we've reviewed some of the current and past controversies on these pages. And all of them relate to the "leadership" of ZOA's "President for Life" Morton Klein, one of Israel's most passionate and outspoken defenders from the right.

From the years for which ZOA lost its non-profit status (which jeopardized the tax deductibility of contributions to the organization), to the claims by other organizational leaders that ZOA leaders (viz, Mort Klein) had violated the terms of membership in the Conference of Presidents in its disparagement of three other organizations and those organizations' leaders, leading to a Conference-mandated arbitration, to the allegation that Klein/ZOA (the two are interchangeable in the sense of l'etat c'est moi). accepted $50,000 contributions from alleged representatives of the Qataris to tone down ZOA public criticism.

And, now, the worst of it. In https://forward.com/news/406850/bombshell-lawsuit-charges-mort-klein-took-secret-payments-from-board/, the Forward, over Josh Nathan-Kazis by-line, built an article on allegations made by the ZOA's former Executive Director's lawsuit which "accused...Mort Klein of taking secret off-the-books payments from donors, sabotaging the group's tax exemption to hide his inflated salary, and retaliating after the former executive director blew the whistle on his alleged misconduct."

A friend who sent the Forward article on to me said, facetiously (I think): "This wouldn't be happening if the ZOA had a Board of Directors." Of course, the Zionist Organization has a Board, the real question is: what the hell does that Board do? Visit the ZOA website and you will find one "Statement" from Morton Klein after another -- the entire Home Page reads like nothing more than a Mort Klein scrapbook.

The ZOA's attorneys are following the tried and true tactic of attributing the charges in the lawsuit to a disgruntled former employee. Who is independently examining the allegations:they are serious, they are numerous and they cannot be ignored. The allegations suggest a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability; and a Board seemingly disinterested in exercising their fiduciary responsibilities.

The ZOA's Board Chair is a prominent attorney -- where is he here?

Rwexler


3 comments:

Dan Brown said...

Willow Creek Church, as you probably know, is going through a major scandal at the moment and much blame has been placed at the feet of the Church's Elders. It seems that when it comes to proper governance, Jewish organizations aren't alone in ignoring best practice relative to checks and balances. At least at Willow Creek, the Elders finally "admitted" their complicity and resigned en masse.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/us/willow-creek-church-resignations-bill-hybels.html

Anonymous said...

ZOA appears to have no mechanisms in place to assure the CEO's accountability. Look at its website and you will find statemetn after statement from Morton Klein who appears to have carte blanche to pontificate on all things. His/ZOA's attacks on other organizations which fail to adhere to his positions vis-a-vis Israel are without the restraint of his so-called "Board." Klein knows that he is the ZOA, for whatever that's worth.

Anonymous said...

Those who might ask the same question of the World Jewish Congress, whose Board Chair has spoken out with clarity and conviction on matters in Israel impacting on World Jewry, should remember that Ron Lauder is the lected Chair as opposed to Klein who is a paid employee arguably serving the Organization and reporting to its Board. There is a vast difference,