Major US Jewish Group Calls on Trump Not to Appoint Mattis Defense Secretary, Citing ‘Hostility’ to Israel
JNS.org – The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) called on President-elect Donald Trump not to appoint Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, citing his past comments conveying hostility to Israel and a lack of understanding of the threat that radical Islam poses to the Jewish state.
Mattis, a retired four-star general in the Marines, who served as US Central Command (CENTCOM) commander from 2010-2013, met with Trump Saturday and is widely considered the frontrunner for secretary of defense. Following their meeting, Trump tweeted that Mattis is “very impressive” and a “true General’s General.”
Referring to controversial comments made at a 2013 Aspen Institute conference — praising Secretary of State John Kerry’s “valiant” efforts to reach a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warning that settlements would turn Israel into an “apartheid state” and expressing concern over America’s “biased” support for Israel — the ZOA said that Mattis “revealed a lack of appreciation for and understanding of the extraordinary value to American security resulting from a strong American-Israeli alliance and a secure Israel.” ZOA President Morton Klein said he thus“urges that Mattis not be appointed” defense secretary.