ZOA Strongly Opposes Decision To Disinvite Sarah Palin From Speaking At Anti-Ahmadinejad Rally
September 19, 2008

The following statement is from Morton A. Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America.                        

 “The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly opposes the disinvitation of Vice-Presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin to be one of many speakers at a “stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons rally.”  This rally will also protest the presence of Iran‘s president Ahmadinejad at the United Nations on Monday, September 22. This is an anti-Iran rally, not a partisan political rally, as Democratic Senator Hilary Clinton was invited as was vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden and later Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida.  Clinton withdrew and Biden apparently couldn’t attend.

    “Under tremendous pressure from Jewish Democrats and liberal Jewish groups, Palin’s invitation was withdrawn with a decision made not to include any politicians. Why are we excluding political leaders who have the real power to act on this critical issue?  The ZOA believes this was a serious mistake.

 “This was not a political rally for any party or individual. All Democrats and Republicans are united against Ahmadinejad developing nuclear weapons which he indicated he would use “to wipe Israel and America off the map.”  We thought that one of the themes of Democrats this year was “promoting unity” and “bringing people together.”  Well, here was an opportunity to do just that on an issue we can all support and certain groups and interests have caused us to fail.  The ZOA is so disappointed by this unnecessary and harmful outcome.

 “At this rally, there would be no implied or explicit endorsement of any candidate or party, only a unified condemnation of Ahmadinejad.  No one was going to speak about politics, only about loving America and Israel, and fighting Iran, and standing up to evil.

“The ZOA deeply regrets that certain Jewish groups and individuals believed the inadvertent benefit that would accrue to Sarah Palin outweighed the enormous benefit that Israel and the United States would receive when a Vice-Presidential candidate and others give visibility and power to this life and death issue.

“It seems for these people politics and their personal political agenda were more important than Israel and America‘s security.  This wrong-headed action of cancelling the appearance of major political leaders hurt Israel and the United States.  Ahmadinejad must be delighted that those who oppose his policies are so divided they can’t even stand on the same stage to condemn him.  I assure you, if we were holding a rally to condemn an internationally-known racist, anti-Black leader, no one would dare disinvite a speaker and no speaker would dare back out.

  “The ZOA strongly urges that Sarah Palin be reinvited along with any other key Democratic or Republican leaders. 

 “Otherwise, this will become a day of shame and humiliation for the Jewish people instead of a day of Jewish pride, strength, courage, and will.  On this day, we should have put aside all other political interests and together fight against this existential threat against Israel and major threat to the United States and the entire western world.”


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