ZOA Calls For Tillerson’s Resignation
Amid reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is growing frustrated with the White House, even considering stepping down, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) on Monday called on Tillerson to resign. The group accused Tillerson of contradicting pro-Israel statements made by President Donald Trump and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
“In light of the U.S. State Department’s new, bigoted, biased, anti-Semitic, Israel-hating error-ridden terrorism report, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) calls on Secretary of State Tillerson to resign,” the ZOA said in a statement.
The ZOA — headed by Morton Klein — took issue with the State Department’s annual terrorism report listing Israeli settlement construction, violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, and the perception that Israel’s government was changing the status quo on the Temple Mount as “continued drivers of violence.”
“This is an extraordinarily anti-Semitic, Israel-bashing report filled with falsehoods that the US government must amend and retract immediately,” the conservative pro-Israel group stated. “The ZOA has lost all confidence in Secretary of State Tillerson in his ability to promote President Trump’s Mideast policies, be fair to our greatest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and to fight the scourge of Islamist terrorism. Hamas, Hezbollah, Fatah and ISIS must be thrilled with this Tillerson publication. ZOA calls for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s resignation.”
Klein was never a fan of Tillerson. Last December, as Tillerson’s name emerged as the favorite pick for Secretary of State, Klein told Jewish Insider that while Tillerson’s views on Israel are largely unknown, his work record is worrisome. “As an oil man, he was obviously very close to many Arab countries and had close relations with them. I am worried that this may indicate bias against Israel,” said Klein. “His closeness with Russia concerns me as well because Russia has been enormously hostile to Israel.”
And while giving Trump a pass on delaying the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Klein said he’s worried about Tillerson giving the President bad advice. “I am concerned that Tillerson will begin to pressure Israel to take stands that they can’t take,” he said. “I am worried.”
In a phone interview with Jewish Insider on Sunday, Klein said he’s convinced Trump will eventually move the embassy to Jerusalem.
During a recent speech at the annual Christians United for Israel’s annual gathering in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence declared: “I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump will move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is not a question of if, it is only when.”
“I can simply tell you this, as someone who’s already been to the White House four times, me personally, that is an absolutely accurate statement,” Klein asserted. “It is the truth. With politicians, you never can be hundred percent sure, but to the best of my knowledge, he’s telling the truth.”
Klein, who met with newly appointed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci right after Trump’s inauguration to convey his views, also reacted to the appointment of ‘The Mooch.’ “Scaramucci is one of the strongest supporters of Israel you will ever find in politics, so I am very happy about this. He’s a very strong supporter of Israel in the ZOA way, not in a mainstream Jewish way. I think people are going to like him, which is, I think, very helpful to this administration’s work. This is a great choice for Trump. I couldn’t ask for anything better as a Director of Communications.”