Interview with Mort Klein on 2016, Syrian Refugees

The following is a brief interview Jewish Insider conducted with Morton Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), on the presidential race:

On Ben Carson’s lack of Foreign Policy experience:

“This is not the first time we’ve had a presidential candidate, or even a president, who didn’t have much foreign policy experience. When Bill Clinton became president, he had no foreign policy experience or knowledge, Barack Obama had very little foreign policy experience of knowledge. You see people like Clinton and Obama, the problem with both of them was that their instincts, in my opinion, were not good instincts in feeling the right way about the challenges we faced regarding foreign policy.”

“I know Ben Carson, I met with him in Maryland just a few weeks ago, and we talked about the Middle East. At this point, he may be lacking strong substantive knowledge of the issues, But, I can tell you, his instincts are good. I believe he has the right attitude towards the problems we face. And the most important thing, is he able to get together a strong foreign policy team. That’s really the issue. And I think he really would be. I’m not that concerned about it.”

On Hillary Clinton’s refusal to use the term “radical Islam”:

“It is a serious mistake because if you don’t name the enemy as radical Islam, it takes Muslim leaders off the hook for feeling a stronger need to condemn this publicly, and to challenge these people. It’s actually disgraceful. When the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) were attacking and murdering blacks if we didn’t call them the Ku Klux Klan men; if instead we said these are bad people in the South who are doing this, it would make it a lot harder for people to go after KKK members. So, I think it is an absurd mistake for Hillary Clinton not to name who the enemy is, since most of the terrorism committed in the world today are done by radical Muslims.”

On the debate over Syrian refugees and the comparison drawn between Syrian and Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during WWII:

“I am a Jewish refugee. I was born in a displaced persons camp in Germany. My parents were Holocaust survivors. So, I appreciate the importance of helping people when they are in trouble, and their lives are miserable because of where they are. But when the Jews were coming to America, there was no issue of some Jewish people becoming terrorists and murdering innocent Americans. This is not an issue of being hostile to Muslims. I agree with the 31 Governors and with Chuck Schumer that this is a time to have a pause in bringing in Syrian refugees until we can have a process where we are sure that they have no terrorist background. If Obama was so interested in helping these people, why didn’t he bring military action to Syria against Assad? He could have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And most of the people leaving Syria are young men. Why aren’t these young men staying in Syria and fighting to get rid of Assad? They should be staying there and fighting to get rid of him, not running away.”

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