I don’t speak for any organization. I don’t speak for a special interest group. I don’t speak as one who supports a Republican or a Democrat. Because I choose to speak on behalf of the silent majority, I am not confined to weigh my words of outrage in fear of political repercussion.
In the organizational press release society of today, it is often the cautious diplospeak and non-positions that unnerves us most.
What happened or didn’t happen at the rally to stop Iran, should anger those who care deeply about leadership and activism. It is not in dispute that Senator Hillary Clinton accepted and then refused an invitation to attend the gathering. It is the motivation for her cancellation that demands explanation. This is New York and the NY Senator, despite her wishes to the contrary, is still our elected representative . We are therefore well within our right to know why this important rally was snubbed by her. Regardless of the obvious reasoning, it appears that VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin was dis-invited by the organizers because of the political hysteria created by the Clinton’s and the Obama Democrats.
What remains sketchy is the behind the scenes jousting among the various sponsors of the rally including the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, JCRC, United Jewish Communities, UJA Federation of NY and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, resulting in the dis-invitation of Gov Palin, possibly the next Vice President of the United States.
We have yet to hear from any of the sponsors a cogent defense of this damaging action, one that casts an unflattering light on our community’s reputation and jeopardizes future support of Jewish causes by a McCain administration. What should have been a day united against the obvious menace, disintegrated into impotence and infighting. By rescinding Governor Palin’s invitation, the opportunity to send a united clarion call to the gathering heads of state at the UN and the world at large, was at best muffled.
The headlines leading up to and following the rally focused more on the Governors absence than the important message and mobilization. The momentum was apparently hijacked by those powerful co-sponsors, to the distress and disagreement of the well respected Executive Vice- Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, Malcolm Hoenlein.
It must be articulated that the purported actions of these partisan activists of the Democratic party, including the leadership of the Jewish Council for Public affairs, United Jewish communities and the UJA Federation do not represent the majority views of the Jewish community at large. Upon learning of the participation of the Senator and Governor, many among us were proud and honored to be hosting such auspicious bi-partisan company and welcomed their message and clout to the battle. Throngs of potential attendees and an over-zealous media could have made this one of the more important protests of our time. The urgent issue of a nuclear armed Iran could have catapulted to the top of the presidential foreign policy debate with our event as its backdrop. To have the carpet pulled out in the eleventh hour was self defeating and unfortunately indicative of a void of courageous leadership in our times.
We are, as our leading Rabbis proclaim, in dangerous times. Personal agendas and political status should play no roll when the stakes are so high. Partisanship must cease for the good of the common cause.
As children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, we the keepers of the sacred trust, unanimously agree that Iran and its genocidal designs must be stopped at all costs. Those who cower to the Clinton aura should be ashamed for not recognizing the potential and legitimacy that a Palin appearance could have garnered for this critical cause
(By Chaskel Bennett, Brooklyn NY for YWN)
I believe that the real reason that Hillary backed out was because the Obama campeign was worried that should she attend and then Obama get elected to office (r”l) it would put Obama in a very akward poition vis-a-vis Iran. On one hand Mr. Obama said that he is willing to sit with Mr. Akhmadinajad without any pre-condition (ie a fellow statesman) and on the other hand, Mrs. Clinton, a very powerful personality within the Democratic Party, is calling him a petty thief and brutal dictator. The invitation of Sara Palin was just an easy excuse for her to get out of the whole mess she got herself.
Thanks for saying what I – and almost everyone I know – feel.
We have been betrayed by a group of self-proclaimed “Jewish Leaders” that feel the Democratic Party is more of a Jewish Tradition than Jewish Day Schools and keeping the Torah. Way up there with bagels, lox and gefilte fish.
(Those of us living in New York are particularly hurt by our own senator that values political expediency over joining her constituents in their home state standing up to an international tyrant.)
If I were Malcolm Honlein, I would quit as president of the conference.
Being the head of a bunch of arrogant self-conscious cowards is not what this truly idealistic person deserves.
to this affair fits the yiddish story of someone who was asked why do we have two Gabbaim in shul.he answered when they do something dumb we can knock thier heads together.so much for all those spnsoring”jewish”organizations
This is definitely the truth. It was a missed opportunity!
Sep. 22, 2008
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST
American Jews have good reason to be ashamed and angry today. As Iran moves
into the final stages of its nuclear weapons development program – nuclear
weapons which it will use to destroy the State of Israel, endanger Jews
around the world and cow the United States of America – Democratic American
Jewish leaders decided that putting Sen. Barack Obama in the White House is
more important than protecting the lives of the Jewish people in Israel and
around the world.
On Monday, the New York Sun published the speech that Republican vice
presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would have delivered at
that day’s rally outside UN headquarters in New York against Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and against Iran’s plan to destroy Israel. She
would have delivered it, if she hadn’t been disinvited.
The rally was co-sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
Organizations, the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now, The Israel Project,
United Jewish Communities, the UJA-Federation of New York and the Jewish
Council for Public Affairs. Its purpose was to present a united American
Jewish front against Iran’s genocidal leader and against its genocidal
regime which is developing nuclear weapons with the stated intention of
committing the second Holocaust in 80 years.
Palin’s speech is an extraordinary document. In its opening paragraph she
made clear that Iran presents a danger not just to Israel, but to the US.
And not just to some Americans, but to all Americans. Her speech was a
warning to Iran – and anyone else who was listening – that Americans are not
indifferent to its behavior, its genocidal ideology and the barbarity of its
regime. Rather, they are outraged.
After that opening, Palin’s speech set out clearly how Iran is advancing its
nuclear project, why it must be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons and
why and how the regime itself must be opposed by all right thinking people –
not just Israelis and Americans – but by all people who value human freedom.
PALIN’S SPEECH was a message of national – rather than simply Republican –
resolve against Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its active involvement in
global and regional terrorism. She made this point by quoting statements
that Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton has made against the Iranian regime.
The speech detailed Iran’s past and current attacks against the US,
beginning with its bombing of US servicemen in Lebanon in 1983 and
continuing with Iran’s proxy war against US forces in Iraq and against
Iraqis who oppose its intention of taking control of their country.
By discussing Iran’s role in Iraq she not only made a convincing case for
why an American victory there is essential for defeating Iran. She also made
clear that Iran is actively making war against the US, not just Israel.
From Iran’s war against Israel, the US, and freedom loving peoples
worldwide, Palin’s speech turned to the regime’s war against its own people.
She attacked the regime for its systematic repression of Iranian women. She
applauded the extraordinary bravery of women like Delaram Ali who risked
their lives and their families to demand basic rights for Iranian women.
Ali, she noted, was sentenced to 10 lashes and three years in prison for
having the courage to speak out. An international outcry has temporarily
suspended her sentence.
Then Palin returned to Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its support for
terrorist groups pledged to Israel’s destruction and to the destruction of
the US. She returned to Ahmadinejad’s calls for Israel’s annihilation. She
reiterated Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s solemn
promise to work with Israel to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons
and she joined her name to his promise to stand side by side with Israel to
prevent another Holocaust.
IF PALIN had been allowed to deliver this speech at Monday’s rally, she
would done just what the organizers of the rally, and what the Jewish people
in Israel, America and worldwide need to have done. She would have elevated
the imperative of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the
implicit moral and strategic imperative of overthrowing the regime in
Teheran to the top of America’s national security agenda. Given the massive
media attention she garners at all of her public appearances, Palin’s
participation in the rally would have done more to steel Americans – across
the political spectrum – to the cause of opposing Iran than 10 UN Security
Council sanctions resolutions could do.
It was a remarkable speech, prepared by a remarkable woman. But it was not
heard. It was not heard because the Democratic Party and Jewish Democrats
believe that their partisan interest in demonizing Palin and making
Americans generally and American Jews in particular hate and fear her to
secure their votes for Obama and his running-mate Sen. Joseph Biden in the
November election is more important than allowing Palin to elevate the
necessity of preventing a second Holocaust to the top of the US’s national
The rally’s organizers invited both Clinton and Palin to speak. It was a
wise move. In light of Iran’s monstrous oppression of Iranian women, had the
two most powerful women in American politics joined forces in opposing the
regime and its war against human freedom, their appearance would have sent a
message of American unity and resolve that would have reverberated not just
throughout the US and in the US presidential race, but throughout the world
and into Iran itself. But it was not to be.
The moment that Clinton found out that she was to share a stage with Palin,
she cancelled her appearance. By cancelling, she signaled to Jewish
Democrats – and Democrats in general – that opposing Palin and the
Republican Party is more important than opposing Ahmadinejad and the
genocidal regime he represents.
THE JEWISH Democrats on the rally’s organizing committee got the message
loud and clear. Two of the rally’s co-sponsors – the Jewish Council for
Public Affairs and the UJA Federation of New York demanded that the
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations disinvite Palin.
The JCPA is led by Steven Gutow. Before joining the JCPA, he served as the
founding executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which
is the Jewish support arm of the Democratic Party. The UJA Federation of New
York is led by John Ruskay, who began his Jewish communal career as an
anti-Israel “peace” activist in the radical CONAME and Breira organizations.
Among their other endeavors, CONAME and Breira opposed US military
assistance to Israel during the Yom Kippur War and called for US recognition
of the PLO after the group massacred 26 children in Ma’alot in 1974.
Gutow and Ruskay were supported in their demand to disinvite Palin by the
National Jewish Democratic Council and by the new Jewish pro-Palestinian
lobbying group J-Street.
In an attempt to assuage Gutow and Ruskay, the rally organizers invited
Biden to speak. But he had a scheduling conflict. So the organizers
contacted the Obama campaign and asked it to send a representative. The
campaign offered Congressman Robert Wexler.
But the Democrats knew that Wexler would be no match for Palin. So they
continued on the warpath, absurdly claiming that by inviting Palin (and
Clinton, Biden and Wexler), the organizers were endangering the sponsoring
organizations’ tax-exempt status. That is, through Ruskay and Gutow, in
their bid to prevent Palin from appearing at the rally, the Democrats
threatened to bring down the organized Jewish community.
Never mind that the threat is absurd. The likelihood that the Internal
Revenue Service would open an investigation against every major American
Jewish organization for daring to invite Palin to a rally opposing
Ahmadinejad’s appearance at the UN and Iran’s stated intention of
annihilating Israel is just slightly smaller than the prospect of
Ahmadinejad wrapping himself in an Israeli flag and singing “Hatikva” on the
But no matter. The fear that these Democratic Jews would openly split the
Jewish community on the need to confront Iran frightened the organizers. The
notion that the Democratic Party, and its Jewish supporters would openly
turn their backs on the need to confront Iran to advance the political
fortunes of their party and their party’s presidential slate was too much to
take. Palin was disinvited.
LIBERAL AMERICAN Jews, like liberal Americans in general, and indeed like
their fellow leftists in Israel and throughout the West, uphold themselves
as champions of human rights. They claim that they care about the underdog,
the wretched of the earth. They care about the environment. They care about
securing American women’s unfettered access to abortions. They care about
keeping Christianity and God out of the public sphere. They care about
offering peace to those who are actively seeking their destruction so that
they can applaud themselves for their open-mindedness and tell themselves
how much better they are than savage conservatives.
Those horrible, war-mongering, Bambi killing, unborn baby defending,
God-believing conservatives, who think that there are things worth going to
war to protect, must be defeated at all costs. They must intimidate, attack,
demonize and defeat those conservatives who think that the free women of the
West should be standing shoulder to shoulder not with Planned Parenthood,
but with the women of the Islamic world who are enslaved by a misogynist
Shari’a legal code that treats them as slaves and deprives them of control
not simply of their wombs, but of their faces, their hair, their arms, their
legs, their minds and their hearts.
The lives of 6 million Jews in Israel are today tied to the fortunes of
those women, to the fortunes of American forces in Iraq, to the willingness
of Americans across the political and ideological spectrum to recognize that
there is more that unifies them than divides them and to act on that
knowledge to defeat the forces of genocide, oppression, hatred and
destruction that are led today by the Iranian regime and personified in the
brutal personality of Ahmadinejad. But Jewish Democrats chose to ignore this
basic truth in order to silence Palin.
They should be ashamed. The Democratic Party should be ashamed. And Jewish
American voters should consider carefully whether opposing a woman who
opposes the abortion of fetuses is really more important than standing up
for the right of already born Jews to continue to live and for the Jewish
state to continue to exist. Because this week it came to that.
If Malcolm Hoenlein didn’t quit, rather than be publicly involved in this fiasco, he proved himself to be just a powerless spineless puppet.
Thanks for saying it!
Ani Tapuach…Bravo!! a very well written article about how our Liberal Democratic fools will destroy America.. Shame on all of those responsible for this dis-inviting fiasco, and more shame on Hillary…a self serving bitter woman. All Americans wake up and smell the danger.
if Hoenlein disagrees with the disinviting of Palin he should do the courageous thing and resign. The organizers of this rally are morally bankrupt. For shame !
Malcolm, as a former classmate of yours, I am deeply ashamed of your cowardice in the face of intimidation by secular, radical, alienated left-wing bastards–traitors to our Jewish community.
You should have offered your resignation, rather than participate in this treasonous act against your brothers and sisters in the Jewish community.
This was your great test and you failed!
Can a reporter ferret out the truth of the story so that speculation is not created to suit individual agendas?
Hey 12786, and all the rest of you Judeo-Cons – Since the 1930s their conservative opponents have been charging that “Liberal Democratic fools will destroy America” Hmmmm . . . .It was Liberal Democratics that brought you: Social Security; Workmans Compensation; Medicare; Medicaid; Unemployment Insurance; the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act; Religious Accommodation laws; Section 8 and other low-income housing programs; laws prohibiting elections on Yom Tovim; zoning protection for shuls; the FDA, HUD and SEC (including the strong regulation of finacial markets that the Republicans, including McCain, acted to relax – action that even the Wall Street Journal acknowledges contributed materially to the current financial crisis); free infant innoculations; PEL Grants; the cleaning up of the Hudson and East Rivers; programs used by Yeshivas everywhere to access low-cost food, etc. One more point – as for Eretz Yisroel and Iran, it was Bush and his neocons that removed the one regional force neutraliozing the Iranians, Iraq, directly causing mu=ch of the current Iranian issue. You folk are dangerously ignorant. I wear a black hat, have a beard, have a nightly learning seder and daven at a chareidi shul . . but, “chas v’ shalom,” I am also highly educated . . . you guys really scare me.
It’s well known the views of the Gedolim concerning who to vote for (especially R’ Avigdor Miller), Because the Democrats also brought in abortion, gay marriage, and many other anti-Torah practices, and caused the overall deterioration of morals in society. While all the monetary benefits received because of them, we don’t consider as much, bec. there is something called Bitachon, that everything comes from the Hashem, so we won’t vote for someone that we will get monetary benefit if it’s at the cost of bringing down the moral standards of the Country we live in.
# 13 – No one “brought in abortion” What the courts have held is that the government has no authority to prevent individuals from getting abortions . . . a major distinction. As for R. Miller, he says that one cannot be frum and be a Democrat . . . so much for those rabbanim who are . . you confuse a free society with one advocating for debased positions. I am opposed to abortion, but recognize that the government with the power to ban abortions as a matter of law is one with the powe to ban schita and make their religion official to our detriment. A free society has only helped Jews in this country.
again, you missed the point.
The job of a Jew in this world is to do whatever is in his power to uphold the Torah and it’s values, and that includes trying to make sure that you and your children will be able to live with moral values in a moral society, which is getting increasingly difficult thanks to the Democrats. All the things that you mentioned like getting government financial help, AND freedom of religion is important, but ultimately it’s not in your hands but in Hashem’s hands. So you and I have to do our job, and let Hashem do His job.
#15 – You merely disagree with my hishtadlus – as I see it Hashem gave Yidden a free America for a reason . . . for our benefit . . .and my vote is to maintain its broad frredoms
If voting for a certain candidate goes into the realm of Hishtadlus, is debatable. But even if it does, it can not go on the cost of lowering the moral standards in your country; it’s similar to working dishonestly which is Assur, although you are doing Hishtadlus.