Category Archives: Mort Klein Exposed

Caroline Glick Really Thinks Mort Klein Should Retire

Mort Klein is becoming increasingly desperate that he is on the verge of losing his 20-year grip on the ZOA. It appears he has beseeched his old friend Caroline Glick, a well respected Israeli thinker and writer, to write a column endorsing him for reelection. Glick then wrote a column that is lukewarm at best and damns Klein with faint praise. Nevertheless, the bottom line is she did endorse him, albeit grudgingly.

If you want to know what Caroline Glick really thinks about Mort Klein when she is not under pressure, see this unsolicited e-mail she wrote to Steve Goldberg back in November of 2012 upon learning of Mort Klein’s decision to terminate a loyal, dedicated and talented employee who objected to Klein’s illegal order not to divulge the ZOA’s loss of its 501c3 status to donors.

From: Caroline Glick <caroline@carolineglick.com>
Date: November 22, 2012 6:02:19 AM PST
To: sgoldberg@raklaw.com
Subject: hi from Caroline Glick – confidential

Hi Steve,

I read with dismay about Orit’s firing and the other related developments in LA and elsewhere within the ZOA. It seems to me that with O’s reelection and the Jewish organizational world’s likely move to the far left that a strong ZOA is more essential now than ever before. What can be done to help?

Is there anything I could do? Also, the only email I have for Orit is her ZOA one. Could you give me her personal email and also send her my good wishes?

Finally, is there a chance that Mort will retire and make room for new leadership for the ZOA?

Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.
Caroline

Confessions of a Former Mort Klein Admirer

Miami activist and candidate for public office, Dave Crystal (CrystalforCommissioner.com) sent out the following letter to ZOA members urging them not to vote for Mort Klein.

Dear fellow Zionists:

Like many of you, I was shocked to have read the recent Newsroom expose on ZOA President Mort Klein. The most disturbing revelation was as follows: “Klein earned $315,385 in 2007, the last year for which filings are publicly available. However, according to the Forward, his base compensation in 2011 was reportedly $435,050. In 2008 alone, Klein’s total compensation was $1,245,851.”

Wow! What a difference a generation makes! Till this day I remember vividly as a young ZOA activist sitting amongst people like you in the ZOA headquarters in New York, engaging in passionate debate as to whether Mort Klein should have any salary at all. Prior to Mort, no president, including my cousin Milton Shapiro, had ever received a formal salary; and, in the case of Milton, if he had been offered one, he would have flatly rejected it on principle.

As a zealous and impressionable (operative term being “impressionable”) young Zionist activist at the University of Pennsylvania in the mid-to-late 1990’s, I fell in love with Mort Klein. At the age of just 15, when the Oslo Accords were signed, I had the street-smarts and temerity to realize that it was a dangerous sham, and I was dismayed that no mainstream Jewish leader at the time seemed to feel the same way. Then, along came Mort Klein, my knight in shining armor, waving the banner of security, reciprocity and compliance within the context of the new Oslo Accords. I was immediately drawn to him, and in my college years became intimately involved in both the ZOA and AFSI.

I was not the only one. In retrospect there was an irrational euphoria surrounding Mort Klein. Every right-of-center Zionist who felt ostracized at the time by the mainstream “pro-peace” crowd felt as if Mort Klein was their one true father they could lean on. We would have done anything for him at the time, including destroying the ZOA constitution, allowing him to become dictator for life, and making him the first president in ZOA history to have a formal regular salary. At the time (1996), and with some controversy, we approved his salary of $50,000. Never did we imagine there would come a day where Mort Klein would become a millionaire from what was supposed to be a charitable ideological organization!

Again, I was in love with Mort Klein; and love is irrational. In my college and young professional years I supported him every step of the way and believed he could do no wrong. I thought, he would serve a good 8 to 10 years as President (since we had just destroyed the constitution allowing him to serve more than 4 consecutive years), and dreamt of becoming his successor and making him proud of me for continuing his crusade against the Oslo Accords and PA violations of the same.

Mort appointment me as President of the Young Leadership District of the ZOA in 2000, and I served honorably, increasing membership from our original six to over 180. We organized great events that attracted and galvanized Zionist youth from all over New York. Then suddenly and unpredictably in my third year as president of the YLD, my Zionist world was shattered. I got a call from Mort saying I need to come into his office immediately. I did just that. When I got there I was floored to find out he was removing me from my post as President of the YLD. I asked for an opportunity to defend myself against this false and/or misleading loshon hora, but no such opportunity was granted. Apparently no democratic process is to be honored in the ZOA.

After that incident, I fell into a mild depression, as the ZOA had been such a big part of my life for so many years. I felt as if a big part of my identity had been suddenly and precipitately ripped away. The rose-colored glasses had been taken off and for the first time in my life I began to do research on Mort Klein the man, versus Mort Klein the myth. What I found was an enormous stream of people who he had disappointed or wronged over the years. I was so ashamed of myself for having been duped for so long. It’s amazing what political zeal can do to objectivity.

In that vein, I urge you to be objective as you elect your next ZOA leader, who should not be Mort Klein.

I know Mort Klein very well, and I know how he’s going to respond to this letter. He’s going to tell you that I am irrelevant and that I have not been involved in the ZOA for many years (his doing of course). He’s going to tell you that I have not accomplished much as a Zionist activist in recent years and therefore my opinion is not valid. The truth, of course, is that I would have accomplished much more for the Zionist world if Mort Klein had not railroaded me out of the organization in 2002. With that said, however, I have done a lot for Israel as a private citizen since 2002. That year, I finally published my book, Clinton Versus Israel, the ebook of which you can still find at lulu.com, and lectured on the topic (even receiving honorariums) at at least a dozen universities and Jewish institutions. I am a local political leader in Miami Beach, and even though Israel is not a local political issue, I have used my public persona to defend Israel every step of the way. You can research me at CrystalforCommissioner.com.

I have no personal animus against Mort Klein. At this point, what he did to me is between him and Hashem, not between him and me. I am asking you to replace him because he has not earned the honor of serving 10 consecutive years as ZOA president, let alone 20. I am asking you to replace him because his personal and ethical failings stand as an embarrassment to the entire organization and the Zionist enterprise at large.

It’s time to move on. Perhaps if you choose to do so, I and the younger generations I represent will proudly join your ranks once again.

Zionistically yours,

Dave Crystal

Mort Klein Badgers Supporters of Steve Goldberg

Mara Kochba, a noted LA activist, received bizarre phone messages from Mort after she sent a group e-mail endorsing Steve Goldberg as a man with “the leadership qualities which Klein sorely lacks: integrity, intellectual honesty, comprehension of the fiscal nuances necessary to build-up, nurture and support a thriving Jewish organization. He is also extremely articulate, has a great sense of humor, and is a very nice human being.” Her subsequent e-mail to Mort is as follows:

Shavua Tov, Mort!

I usually do receive any personal phone calls which disturb my shabbat, but after havdala, I noticed the light blinking on me answering machine.

Imagine my shock when I found two (2) messages from you (and, later, yet another when I turned on my cell phone)!

The vituperative screed of your voice mail message – which I played later for friends – was beyond the pale.

Your irrational accusations, convoluted charges and totally incomprehensible harangue was utterly pitiable.

And all this because I support Steve Goldberg’s candidacy in the forth-coming election (which you have illegally stacked the deck) for the leadership of ZOA.

You are, alas, a pale imitation of what you once were as a leader of a major Jewish organization — which is why ZOA is no longer “major” in anyone’s lexicon.

What you have done — YOU, AND YOU ALONE — is the reason you are no longer fit to head ZOA.

It’s over, Mort.

I realize you cannot comprehend the inevitable: the torch must pass to a new generation that can cope with the challenges which face the Jewish people.

Please do not ever again contact me in any way or I will seek an injunction for harassment.

Mara

Martin Sherman Endorses Steve Goldberg!

In his weekly Jerusalem Post column, “Into the Fray,” esteemed intellectual Martin Sherman asks: “Watershed event for Israel-advocacy in US?”

He endorses Steve Goldberg as the man who is now poised to lead the ZOA in the 21st century, and, with much genteel and wisdom, says Mort Klein “must be given credit for the good and must shoulder the blame for the bad.”

Read the column here.

Steve Sets the Record Straight on Israpundit

Ted Belman of the Israpundit blog has given both Mort Klein and Steve Goldberg a forum to share their views. Steve wrote to Ted the following post to counter pressure Ted received from Mort Klein following Ted’s publication of Steve’s “Why I’m Running for ZOA President” video.

These points are important to counter the falsehoods that Mort Klein is spreading, often by phone when no one else can contradict his claims. Read the post here (or below) and take a look at Mort Klein’s self-aggrandizing and strange responses.

Ted,

Read your post endorsing Mort. Of course, you have every right to endorse whomever you want, and I still consider you a friend. But please be aware of the following facts:

1. The rationale given by Mort for taking such an enormous salary starting in 2008 and continuing thereafter, that he worked full-time for 5 1/2 years for free is not true. I found the real numbers and they are on my website. The truth is he was a volunteer for the first 4 years but it was only part-time. Then he took $40k in compensation even though the ZOA constitution at the time prohibited the officers from getting compensation.

Afterwards, the ZOA constitution was amended to allow the president to be paid. He then took $99k in 1999 and $125k in 2000.

2. Mort has claimed repeatedly that his average salary over the 20 years is only $200k. But he has taken more than $5.64 million in the 20 years, which averages to over $282k. If you capitalize it over 20 years, it becomes almost double that in present value dollars.

3. Measured by valid e-mail addresses, the ZOA’s membership list is fewer than 800. The ZOA website dishonestly says there are 30,000. That means the ZOA is a minuscule organization and lying about it. Not good.

4. The last year for which there are financial statements ins 2012, and donations were barely over $1 million. There is a claim that he raised $5 million in 2013, but it is entirely unsubstantiated. Even if true, a review of Form 990s over the last few years shows that the ZOA is raising far less money than Stand With Us, which is about 10 years old, and even the vile J Street, which is only about 5 years old. The fundraising has been mediocre.

5. There is only the ZOA 501c3. Mort has refused to establish a related 501c4 and PAC. It means the ZOA has very little influence on Capitol Hill.

6. The Israel office is manned only by Jeff Daube. Jeff is outstanding and does more than can be expected of any one person, but he doesn’t have help or even an office.

7. Mort recently did something that, by itself, should disqualify him. He tricked Danny Danon into giving him a letter of endorsement. The letter is dated January 17 2014. Mort asked Danny for the letter without disclosing that he had an opponent and the opponent is me. Danny has told me and others that he never would have done that had he known the truth. It is about to be clarified–publicly. I never would have put Danny in the position of making a choice even though I know he personally prefers me (he chose me, not Mort, to be the US representative on the Executive Board of World Likud). It wouldn’t be the right thing to do. But it is even worse that Mort deceived Danny into giving the endorsement in an underhanded way. It is no trifling matter to deceive the Deputy Defense Minister of Israel.

8. You know that Mort has been smearing me personally with matters irrelevant to the ZOA. The smears are also false.

9. Mort has refused to debate me. He is comfortable debating Jewish leftists and even vicious anti-Semites. The reason is he knows he has the truth on his side. He won’t debate me because he does not have the truth on his side in the election. He can telephone people privately and say what he wants without fear of contradiction.

10. Mort is refusing to allow the ZOA members as a whole to vote. He is requiring people to fly to Philadelphia, his hometown where his friends live, to vote. That’s tilting the playing field. Imagine if the election were in Los Angeles and only people who could manage to attend physically could vote. Not allowing ZOA members to vote absentee, by proxy or by e-mail is undemocratic and indefensible. It makes the election a sham.

11. I’ve arranged for an independent website provider to poll all ZOA members with e-mail addresses as to their preference. Each member will receive an electronic ballot and can respond only from his or her e-mail address, and can vote only once, so the poll will have integrity. As a matter of principle, I’ve agreed that I will withdraw and congratulate Mort on his victory if he wins the poll. The ZOA’s president should have a mandate from the majority of its members. If I win the poll, however, I am going to ask Mort to withdraw, and failing that, for the delegates in Philadelphia to vote to ratify the will of the majority. Having a president with no legitimacy would be a disaster and would make the ZOA into a joke.
12. The title of your column actually is very sad for the ZOA if true. If Mort is the ZOA, what happens when he dies or is disabled? The organization needs to be more important than any one man. It can be much more than it is, because no one man can embody what the ZOA is supposed to stand for and accomplish. We don’t have Jewish kings. After 20 years, isn’t it time to give someone else a chance?

13. I’m a flawed human being, but I treat other people with respect. I don’t bully and scream at employees. Once this election is over, Mort will return to ignoring you. I will continue to like and respect you even after this is over.

Please just give this some thought.
Steve