Some Jewish Groups That Opposed Palin Appearing At Anti-Iran Rally Ignored Urging Attendance At Rally
September 24, 2008

 Left-wing Jewish Groups Subordinated Concern

For Israel To Their Domestic Agenda



The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the National Jewish Democratic Convention (NJDC) and J Street, two of the Jewish groups that sought to disinvite Republican vice-presidential candidate and Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin, from Monday’s rally outside the United Nations in New York City protesting the visit to America of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ahmadinejad has called repeatedly for Israel and America to be wiped off the map while continuing to work towards developing nuclear weapons. Governor Palin was to have addressed the rally, as was former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), but the latter withdrew when Governor Pain was invited. (Democratic vice-presidential candidate Senator Joseph Biden was invited but was unable to attend; so was Democratic Congressman Wexler, who did not attend when the decision was made to rescind invitations to politicians).


The ZOA notes that the NJDC, in its press releases both before and after the Palin dis-invitation, did not even call upon Jewish Democrats to attend the rally or provide details as to time, venue, scheduled speakers and so on. Neither did J Street in its press release entitled ‘We Won! Palin Not Speaking at Iran Rally.’ Instead, both simply boasted of the ‘achievement’ of having Governor Palin disinvited. Furthermore, neither of these Jewish groups even bothered to express appreciation to Governor Palin for accepting the invitation to address the rally on a subject of deep importance to Israel and the Jewish people.


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA is thoroughly disappointed and deeply concerned at the action of these left-wing Jewish groups to disinvite Governor Palin. It is appalled that these groups chose to play politics on a vital, indeed, existential issue, for Israel and the Jewish people.


“The rally was not a partisan political rally. It was an anti-Ahmadinejad rally. It did not become ‘partisan’ when Democratic Senators Clinton, Biden and Congressman Wexler were invited. And it did not become ‘partisan’ when Republican Governor Palin was also invited. Quite the contrary – it became bipartisan, as it should have been. No, it became a ‘partisan’ event when Governor Palin was disinvited.


“If Senators Biden and Clinton had accepted and no Republican figure been able to attend, the ZOA would have totally supported their attendance. Had DJNC and J Street truly cared for Israel, they ought to have been thrilled at the prospect of a vice-presidential candidate of either party addressing the rally.


“But the DJNC and J Street were clearly less than thrilled about Governor Palin attending because their concern for Israel was clearly subordinate to their domestic American political interests.  Rather than welcome a call from Governor Palin for tough measures to induce Iran to stop its nuclear program, these groups were terrified that her address might win over part of the Jewish vote in November. As a result, political leaders who have, or may have, real power to act on this critical issue were excluded by the action of these groups.


“Therefore, how disingenuous of these groups to assert that they sought Governor Palin’s dis-invitation in order to prevent the rally being partisan. Clearly, the only partisan behavior here was the successful effort to sabotage Governor Palin’s attendance. And how disingenuous of them to assert that they wanted to protect the rally from becoming mired in politics when they lacked sufficient interest in the rally to even issue a press release urging their supporters to attend and providing them with the details as to the time, venue and speakers attending. For them, this rally was merely an inconvenience to which they paid lip service but did nothing to promote and everything to undermine.


“Worse, these groups did not even have the decency to thank Governor Palin for agreeing to come and speak at this rally. Instead of thanking her, they tastelessly gushed about their ‘success’ in having her disinvited.


It should be noted that organizations like J Street are not representative of the majority views of American Jewry or the Israeli electorate regarding Israel and the Arab war on Israel. J Street supports major territorial concessions, including dividing Jerusalem, to Mahmoud Abbas’ unreconstructed Palestinian Authority, the creation of a Palestinian state that would endanger Israel‘s existence and negotiations with Hamas. These positions are inconsistent with the American Jewish Committee 2007 survey showing that American Jewry overwhelmingly believes (80 per cent) that the goal of Israel‘s Arab neighbors “is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel” and that 58 percent of American Jews reject Israeli concessions on Jerusalem. The same poll shows American Jewry is almost even split on the general issue of creating a Palestinian state, let alone on specific proposals involving the biggest Israeli concessions to achieve this.


An October 2007 Tel Aviv University poll has shown that a clear majority of Jewish Israelis – 59 percent to 33 percent – oppose, even in return for a peace agreement, Israel handing over to the PA various Arab neighborhoods in the eastern half of Jerusalem. Similarly, May 2007 Dahaf Institute poll found that 53 percent of Israelis oppose withdrawals from Judea and Samaria, even in return for a ‘real peace.’ A March 2007 INSS poll showed that 72 percent of Israelis oppose uprooting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. J Street, in contrast, supports all these concessions – and more.


“Lastly, we wish to make it clear that the ZOA, as well as other constituent members of the Conference of Presidents, were not consulted on this decision. It was made without our knowledge or agreement. (We do understand that enormous pressures were brought to bear behind the scenes). Of course, the ZOA and many others would have steadfastly opposed the decision to disinvite Governor Palin.”




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