Diane Lob is not the right choice to lead the Conference of Presidents
Diane Lob is not the right choice to lead the Conference of Presidents

There’s no question that President Trump has been a great friend of the State of Israel – so how is it possible during these times that the Conference Of President of Major American Jewish Organizations can nominate Dianne Lob, someone firmly Anti-Trump, formerly Chair of the Board of HIAS, which has ties to radical left-wing organizations, to lead them? 

This decision must be reconsidered before the vote planned by the Presidents Conference on April 28. The Presidents Conference is the Jewish community’s liaison to the executive branch – how can someone lead the organization when her previous role heading HIAS saw her leading an organization that clashed repeatedly with the Administration on immigration, and has repeatedly sued the Administration on issues to inhibit the president’s initiatives?

Knowing President Trump, does anyone think this will go over well? Is this in the best interest of the Jewish community at these times?

Lob headed an organization which admittedly employed an aggressive “embarrassment” public relations strategy.  While Ms. Lob was the Chair of the Board, and HIAS president stated:“[I]t is not at all clear that there is any way to overturn the [U.S. President’s] executive order. The 1980 Refugee Act . . . gives the president broad control over immigration. . . . Thestrategy HIAS is adopting now is ‘to be as public and as aggressive as we canThe only way we can change this policy is to embarrass the president.’” 

The Conference of Presidents wants someone leading the Jewish community whose position was to embarrass a U.S. president who is following the law, and who has been a great friend to Israel and the Jewish people? A very partisan position – and not one appropriate for the Conference of Presidents to adopt.

HIAS is, by its own definition, not a Jewish organization, having officially dropped, in 2014, the word “Hebrew” from its name as being “exclusionary.”  
Some background on the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), according to documents distributed by the Zionist Organization of America. HIAS does not help Jewish immigrants anymore as it did, apolitically and illustriously, in its past:

HIAS has been “collaborating” (HIAS’s term) with Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) on various matters for several years, including initiating a joint program in 2018 to provide legal assistance to Muslim migrants flooding (usually through Turkey) into Greece (and hence into the EU).  IRUSA is the American branch of, and has extensive financial and leadership ties to and interchanges with Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW).  IRW and IRUSA have extremely concerning financing and other ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. 

An anonymous U.S. Department of Justice source told the media:  “This is a national security issue. We know that these Muslim leaders and groups are continuing to raise money for Hamas and other terrorist organizations. Ten years ago we shut down the Holy Land Foundation. It was the right thing to do. Then the money started going to KindHearts. We shut them down too. Now the money is going through groups like Islamic Relief.”  An Egyptian list of 30 alleged Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the U.S. included five current or former senior IRUSA leaders.  Israel arrested an IRW official, and banned IRW due to IRW’s terrorist activities (including funding Hamas).  The UAE declared IRW to be a terrorist organization.  The UK-based USBC bank shut down IRW’s banking operations because funds were likely to fall into terrorist hands.  IRW also has ties to IHH (the Turkish terrorist organization and Muslim Brotherhood branch that perpetrated the Gaza flotilla attack on Israeli inspectors). 

HIAS announced that its Clearwater, Florida program to resettle Syrian refugees “works closely with the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR].”  HIAS also signed joint letters with CAIR and other virulently antisemitic, anti-Israel groups including MPAC.  The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial for funneling money to Hamas.  The HIAS-CAIR-MPAC letters wrongly claimed that further security restrictions were unnecessary because Syrian refugees’ information was checked against government databases.  In fact, the databases did not exist.  

HIAS leaders co-signed a 2017 letter, together with Israel-bashers including JVP, If Not Now, J Street, NIF, and T’ruahdefending Jew-hating, Israel-hating, BDS-promoting, Muslim supremacist Linda Sarsour.  The letter signed by HIAS condemned parties who criticize Linda Sarsour, by declaring: “We will not stand by as Sarsour is falsely maligned, harassed and smeared.”   In fact, Sarsour infamously asserted, “There is nothing creepier than Zionism”; praised the Palestinian Authority (PA) tactic of deploying children to hurl rocks at Israelis as the “definition of courage”; tweeted about genuine women’s rights advocates Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who suffered from female genital mutilation as a child) and Lebanese-born Brigitte Gabriel, “I wish I could take away their vaginas”; and embraced stated she was “honored to be on this stage with Rasmeh Odeh” (a Palestinian terrorist convicted of murdering two Israelis).

HIAS has been initiating and has long been involved in divisive, left-wing litigation and public advocacy on the national and international stage, in opposition to the U.S. federal, state, local and Israeli governments.  HIAS litigation positions are detrimental to the safety of the American (and especially American Jewish) public. For instance, HIAS initiated and served as a lead plaintiff in multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration, to try to overturn the Trump administration’s travel bans to protect Americans.  The travel bans suspended entry from six Muslim majority countries and two non-Muslim countries that do not share adequate information with the United States and/or present other serious risks of foreign terrorists entering the United States. 

HIAS is, by its own definition, not a Jewish organization, having officially dropped, in 2014, the word “Hebrew” from its name as being “exclusionary.”   The vast majority of material on HIAS’s website does not promote Jews or Israel. That’s not representative of the Jewish community.

This position is a very prestigious position – and one which should not go to someone who is hostile towards the current Administration and who chaired the board of an organization that cooperates with anti-Zionists.  She is entitled to her viewpoints – but she is an unfit choice for such a prestigious organization.

Ronn Torossian is a NYC based entrepreneur and philanthropist.