The national vice chairman of the Zionist Organization of America last week accused the group of “weakness and cowardice” because it sent him an email asking him to make clear that his views in support of rightwing Rabbi Meir Kahane were his own and not the organization’s.
Steven Goldberg, national vice chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, gave a talk a week ago at a Sherman Oaks, CA, women’s organization about the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, titled, “Why Israel and the Jewish people need another Kahane now.”
I got a recording of the speech, and the thrust of it was that Kahane’s proposed solution of expelling Palestinians from Israel and Palestine to Jordan was a “humane” solution, and many countries had pursued such policies. Kahane, who was killed in 1990, was not wracked by guilt over Jews’ use of force, Goldberg said, and the Israeli government and American Jewish organizations were ignoring his wisdom by urging a two-state solution when the entire land belongs to Israel.
Goldberg, an LA lawyer, began his talk by showing a video of what he described as Palestinian attacks on religious Jews in Jerusalem– “something you would have seen in Germany in the 1930s”.
Something is deeply ill in the Jewish world when that’s allowed to happen. And I believe that’s a key theme, and something that Meir Kahane attempted to stop and prevent. Let’s go further….. One of the problems is the American Jewish establishment. The leaders of the organizations that exist now that also existed in the 1930s and 1940s. And I’m going to give you one that makes me sad to do because it’s an organization I’m a part of. I’m the national vice chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, ZOA, which I typically consider to be correct and right and principled on most issues.
When they found out I was speaking about Meir Kahane, I got this email. “We’re aware of your upcoming public address. Please stress that your remarks are your own, you are not delivering them in your role as an officer of the ZOA and the content of your speech does not reflect the official opinions of the Zionist Organization of America.”
[Member of the audience:] “Time to quit.”
Patient. That’s also– and I’m going to get back to that topic, which Rabbi Kahane was trying to correct and address, which was the weakness and cowardice of the American Jewish establishment.
Goldberg has battled the ZOA before, over the firing of an LA staffer.