Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns Elizabeth Taylor, Ardent Zionist and Jewish Convert

March 23, 2011

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) mourns the passing of legendary American actress and ardent Zionist, Elizabeth Taylor, who has passed away, aged 79. Ms. Taylor, who enjoyed a long and hugely successful career in Hollywood, was converted to Judaism in 1959 by the Rabbi Max Nussbaum, who served as National President of the ZOA from 1964 to 1966.

Among Elizabeth Taylor’s outstanding work on behalf of Israel and Jewish causes was her participating in raising $840,000 for Israel in a 1967 London gala and purchasing personally $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959. The same year, she cancelled a visit to Moscow after the Soviet Union lashed out at Israel after the June 1967 Six Day War.

In 1975, she was one of 60 prominent women to sign a statement to then-U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, condemning the U.N. General Assembly’s infamous Zionism-is-Racism resolution. Taylor offered herself as a hostage when 104 hostages aboard an Air France airbus were hijacked by PLO terrorists and held at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, from which they rescued in a spectacular Israeli commando mission on July 4, 1976, America’s 200th birthday.

Taylor frequently visited Israel and met with its leadership, including Prime Minister Menachem Begin in 1983. In 1987, she signed a petition seeking the release from Soviet incarceration of leading refusenik, Ida Nudel.

Elizabeth Taylor’s pro-Israel activism led to the banning of her films in several Arab countries. After purchasing $100,000 in Israel Bonds in 1959, the United Arab Republic (now Egypt) banned all her movies. Gen. Essam Elmasri, head of the Cairo regional bureau of the Israel Boycott Office, said that Miss Taylor would not be allowed to come to Egypt because she has adopted the Jewish faith and “supports Israeli causes.” Her movie, Cleopatra, was not permitted to be filmed in Egypt, but in 1964, Egypt dropped her from its blacklist when it decided that Cleopatra, which mentions Egypt 122 times, would be provide good publicity for Egypt (Ami Eden, ‘In the JTA Archive: Liz Taylor says trade me for Entebbe hostages,’ Jewish Telegraphic Agency, March 23, 2011).

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “Elizabeth Taylor was not only a wonderful actress but a wonderful Zionist. In the days of vicious Arab boycotts stronger than those today, she could have taken a self-interested line, as have many Jewish actors today, and failed to speak up or support Israel or, worse, engaged in anti-Israel slanders and other activities that harm Israel and aid its enemies, but she didn’t.

The ZOA is proud of its connection to Elizabeth Taylor and expresses heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at her passing. Her rabbi was Rabbi Max Nussbaum, of Temple Israel, Hollywood, who was also a past National President of ZOA. Members of Temple Israel included Al Jolson, Sammy Davis, Jr., Eddie Fisher, Eddie Cantor, George Jessel and Leonard Nimoy, among numerous other Hollywood celebrities. ”

May her soul rest in peace.

And, many thanks to Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs for posting this fantastic video summary of Liz’s movie career. Here is the url link. I hope it comes up for you or try and paste the link on your own search engine. (jsk)

http://www.conservativesforamerica.com/around-the-web/liz-the-passing-of-a-legend-the-end-of-an-era

Obama Puts His Obvious Hostility To Israel Right On The Table!

Now how many Jews will vote for him or help the Democrats in the 2012 elections?

And, the question is, whose soul should be searched?

Obama tells Jewish Leaders that Israel bears responsibility for advancing peace!

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has expressed concern over some of President Barack Obama’s remarks to American Jewish leaders at the White House this week, including his statement urging Jewish communal leaders to speak to their friends and colleagues in Israel and to search your souls’ over Israel’s seriousness about making peace. This strongly suggests that President Obama holds Israel, not Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority (PA), responsible for the lack of peace, as was indeed the reported impression of many attendees who said that the President stated ‘that Israel bears primary responsibility for advancing the peace process.’

We were pleased that President Obama affirmed his deep commitment to Israel’s security but troubled by his stating that Jerusalem would be divided when he reportedly said that the Jewish sections of eastern Jerusalem would remain in Israeli hands as part of any peace deal, strongly implying that the Arab sections would not.

It was also troubling that President Obama also reportedly said that the Palestinians don’t feel confident that the Netanyahu government is serious about territorial concessions. Some participants interpreted the president’s comments either as hostile, naive or unsurprising. One participant also said that many people felt that their worst fears about Obama were confirmed with respect to Israel. They felt an enormous hostility towards Israel.

President Obama also said that Israel has not sufficiently tried to make an acceptable offer to Mahmoud Abbas, a remarkable statement in view of the peace offers of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who offered statehood to the PA on 93% and more of the territory of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, only to be rejected by Yasser Arafat and Abbas. This meeting thus suggests that President Obama’s view have changed little since the July 2009 meeting he had with selected Jewish leaders when he also said that he wants to help Israel, but that in order to do so, Israel would need to engage in serious self-reflection. Obama and his Administration repeatedly condemn, criticize and pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions and almost never condemn, criticize or pressure the PA to make concessions. The President has not even criticized the PA over its refusal to negotiate with Israel.

In a detailed interview in TIME Magazine in January 2010, President Obama also indicated that he holds Israel responsible for the failure of his peace efforts when he ignored Israel’s unprecedented concessions – a 10-month unilateral freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria and qualified endorsement of the idea of creating a Palestinian state – and said that the Israelis still found it very hard to move with any bold gestures.

This week’s meeting between President Obama and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which was attended by ZOA National President Morton A. Klein, was respectful, outwardly cordial and without any public display of tension, although some attendees strongly disagreed with some of what they heard and in fact privately acknowledged feeling strong, internal tension that was not visible to the group.

Leaders of the group thanked the President for his veto of the recent vicious anti-Israel resolution in U.N. Security Council. This occurred despite the fact that the Administration stated in casting its veto that we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity which has corroded hopes for peace and stability in the region¦ We therefore regrettably have opposed this draft resolution, as well as the fact that the Administration sought to obtain the agreement of the Arab states to a different resolution, which it would have supported, condemning these Jewish communities as illegitimate

Also worrying was President Obama’s belief that the present time presents a great opportunity for peace – a remarkable view in light of the fact that, across the region, long-established autocrats are falling, even relatively stable states like Jordan are experiencing rumbling, and within the PA, there are calls for Salaam Fayyad to step down, while Mahmoud Abbas is threatening resignation.

In such circumstances of great uncertainty, turmoil and instability, in which Arab signatories to existing agreements might be swept away from one moment to the next, the ZOA wonders whether seeing to achieve signed agreements with such leaders is appropriate.