Palin Invitation to Anti-Iran Rally Withdrawn

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sarah-palin-thumb.jpg
Make no mistake, this is the result of a grassroots campaign, though Hillary Clinton’s decision to withdraw herself in outrage surely played a major role.
This action alert found its way to me through a few different channels. It got big.
Chances are, this effort succeeded at least in part because most Jews are wary of her positions on hot button social issues. But this is significant for another reason: perhaps for the first time, an organized faction of the Jewish community has successfully served notice that hawkishness does not by endear public officials to the Jewish community.
The mainstream, silver-backed gorilla Jewish organizations have done great work over the years and continue to do so on a number of fronts, but they’ve been painfully out of step with the community on international affairs, particularly during the Bush administration. Now, an increasingly organized segment of American Jews is stepping up to present an alternative perspective that is far more representative of the Jewish community. It may take quite a while — and the Palin invite withdrawal is a small step — but I’m hopeful that the days of pandering to the Jewish vote with saber-rattling are slowly coming to an end.
— Scott Paul

Comments

17 comments on “Palin Invitation to Anti-Iran Rally Withdrawn

  1. arthurdecco says:

    Sweetness said: “There are left wing Zionists and right wing ones; peace-seeking Zionists and warmongering Zionists. And everything in the
    middle. And it’s worth noting that Zionism is evolving just like most isms. This is just a fact and worth paying attention to.”
    Bullshit.
    If you are a Zionist, you are a racist. Period.

    Reply

  2. varanassi says:

    malcolm hoenlein is a pompous ass.
    not a single person in the field has ever been able to tell me what he does.
    btw, i disagree with some of the figures quoted above. bush never got 30% of the jewish vote and i would be amazed (and aghast) if mccain does.
    i place the over/under at 22% and i’m taking the under.

    Reply

  3. Kathleen says:

    varnassi…. a very, very long time ago I commented that we should be careful in our comments when we criticize Isrealis, lest we forget that many oppose their gov’t, just as we oppose ours…it’s very easy to sound anti-semetic…..
    I object to the notion that such a rally is appropriate…..all of this bellicosity just foments fear and antipathy….why can’t we just work through the UN IAEA…it’s the most effective, bloodless way to accomplish world peace….all this jingoism is so over the top and counterproductive…..
    POA…thanxxx for that.

    Reply

  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.israelenews.com/view.asp?ID=3165
    15,000 Jews Say `No` to Palin at UN Rally on Iran
    September 21, 2008 – By: Silverstein, Richard
    ——————————————————————————–
    J Street has just won its first political skirmish. Only a day or so ago it began a campaign to petition Malcolm Hoenlein and the Conference of Presidents against its decision to invite Sarah Palin to address a UN rally against Iran on the day the latter’s president addresses the world body.
    Hillary Clinton, who had been scheduled to speak at the rally, dropped out when Hoenlein announced Palin’s participation. J Street then went on the attack against Hoenlein’s turning it into a partisan pep rally. While he must’ve been madder than a hornet’s nest, 15,000 protest messages did the trick and Palin was disinvited. Chalk one up for J Street and the good guys.
    The Forward also reveals that some of the event’s local Jewish sponsors were specifically angry at Hoenlein for his efforts to turn the event into a partisan show:
    Sources close to the issue said…that the flap had caused heated discussions among the rally organizers, with the New York-based groups expressing dismay about the decision to invite Palin.
    Several left-leaning members of the Presidents Conference, which comprises 52 Jewish organizations, also criticized the decision to reach out to the Republican Party, which they claimed was made by Hoenlein…
    John McCain too is mad as hell:
    “Gov. Palin was pleased to accept an invitation to address this rally and show her resolve on this grave national security issue, regrettably that invitation has since been withdrawn under pressure from Democratic partisans,” McCain said in a statement.
    “We stand shoulder to shoulder with Republicans, Democrats and independents alike to oppose Ahmadinejad’s goal of a nuclear armed Iran,” he said. “Sen. Obama’s campaign had the opportunity to join us. Sen. Obama chose politics rather than the national interest.”
    I would’ve understood asking Hillary Clinton to address this crowd since she IS New York’s senior senator, she is no longer running for any office, and she has a historically close relationship with the Jewish community. But Hoenlein should’ve realized he was playing with fire when he invited Palin. How could he expect Clinton and Palin to speak from the same podium? It was simply a numbskull idea considering the awkwardness–though of course it would’ve burnished Palin’s foreign policy street cred no end (which is why Clinton wanted nothing to do with it).
    Malcolm will have to go back to the drawing board and figure out other ways he can help John McCain and Sarah Palin get more Jewish votes. So much for a supposedly non-partisan Jewish communal leadership.
    ***
    Hoenlein and Palin: Match Made in Iran
    (Sep 18th, 2008) The Conference of Presidents leader, Malcolm Hoenlein got a little more than he bargained for when, after securing Hillary Clinton for his anti-Iran rally, timed to coincide with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN General Assembly, he also invited Sarah Palin. He began the day with New York’s senior senator as a star of his event. He ended the day Clintonless:
    “Her attendance was news to us, and this was never billed to us as a partisan political event,” a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines, said on Wednesday. “Senator Clinton will therefore not be attending.”
    Clinton’s “replacement” opposes almost every domestic priority of the American Jewish community. Hoenlein went from a rally that had no partisan political tension, to one that showcased Hoenlein’s allegiance to the Republican Party.
    [Irony Alert] I do understand there may be one small glitch in Palin’s acceptance of the invitation to speak. She’s requested that she be introduced by David Brickner, the director of Jews for Jesus, who spoke before her at her Alaska church less than a month ago. I don’t think this will cause Abe Foxman any trouble though, since he claims he has no problem with Palin lapping up a Jews for Jesus exhortation to convert us.
    And since Hoenlein came to the U.S. as a young Soviet Jewish émigré (which explains a good deal of his political hawkishness), he should be able to give Sarah a quick tutorial on Russia to fill in any weak spots in her knowledge.
    This rally debacle also illustrates how politically out of touch the Israel lobby’s leadership is with the views of mainstream Jews. At best, 30% of them will vote for McCain-Palin in November. 70% will vote for the other guy. But Hoenlein is content to showcase his fealty to the 30% at an event that should showcase a united Jewish community.
    Let there be no doubt, the Jewish leadership has hitched itself to the Bush-McCain bandwagon. It is in lockstep with the most bellicose approach to the Iranian nuclear impasse. Sarah Palin says there would be nothing wrong with Israel attacking Iran.
    That’s what Malcolm Hoenlein wants to hear. He wants to say: “Jump” and hear a candidate say: “How high.” The Republicans are willing to give Israel a blank check. The Israel lobby knows that Barack Obama, while a friend to Israel and the Jewish people, is no fool and will not give Israel a blank check.
    Keep in mind that yesterday, five past secretaries of state INCLUDING Henry Kissinger and James Baker called for unconditional negotiations between Iran and the U.S. “at the highest level.” That’s the two deans of the Republican foreign policy establishment rejecting the McCain-Palin approach to Iran out of hand. Yet, Malcolm Hoenlein knows something Kissinger doesn’t about those mad mullahs.
    The Conference of President’s anti-Iran event has become a pep rally for “Jews for McCain-Palin.” It’s a shande. If you want to voice your displeasure, join J Street’s protest by demanding that Hoenlein and the Conference disinvite Palin.
    One thing does reassure me though. After the rally, Sarah will get some quality time with all those foreign leaders gathering at the UN, who she’s never met before in her life. She’ll even get an autographed map of the Bering Straits from Ban Ki Moon showing the border between Russia and Alaska. If she’s very good, Secretary General Ban might shake her hand and tell her he comes from South Korea and show her it on a world map.
    Then Sarah can tell him that the only map that matters for her is the map of heaven. All the rest is sin and deviltry.
    The opinions and views articulated by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Israel e News.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://www.antiwar.com/prather/?articleid=13482
    What Have We Got to Lose?
    by Gordon Prather
    Perhaps you’re relieved, judging that the looming worldwide economic depression – which was not deliberately caused by Bubba Clinton or Dubya Bush or the Best Congress Money Can Buy – will make World War III less likely.
    But Bubba (with a complicit BCMCB) did deliberately launch missile attacks (violations of the UN Charter) in 1998 against Afghanistan and Sudan and against Baghdad (in violation of the Gulf War UN Security Council cease-fire resolutions), as well as bombing Kosovo in 1999 (in violation of the UN Charter).
    And Dubya (with a complicit BCMCB) did deliberately invade and occupy Afghanistan (in violation of UN Charter) in 2001 and Iraq (in violation of Security Council resolutions) in 2003.
    So, even though things are going so badly for Dubya in Iraq and Afghanistan, militarily, what makes you think he won’t take advantage of the looming worldwide economic depression to compound his criminal activities by attacking the nuclear facilities of Iran and/or of Pakistan?
    After all, Dubya has already authorized large-scale covert military incursions into, and aerial attacks on, Pakistan – our nuke-armed non-NATO ally – and has allegedly attempted to get our newest “strategic partner,” nuke-armed India, Pakistan’s mortal enemy, to get involved, militarily, with NATO, along the nebulous Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
    Why?
    Well, killing or capturing Osama bin Laden is now to be his legacy.
    Insanity!
    Back in 2005 Secretary of State Condi Rice had whizzed down to New Delhi to prevent India’s finalizing technical and commercial contracts for a $4.5 billion Iran-Pakistan-India natural-gas pipeline that is to provide Iranian natural gas mostly to India.
    In return for India canceling the “peace pipeline,” Condi held out the possibility that we would (a) lift sanctions imposed by Congress on India (as a result of the nuclear weapons tests India conducted in 1998), (b) allow India to be supplied with NPT-proscribed nuclear materials and equipment – to be subjected to special IAEA Safeguards – we had previously blocked , and (c) get the Nuclear Suppliers Group to completely disregard guidelines on restrictions to be applied to NSG exports to India.
    Well, as of this writing, the IAEA and NSG have given in to our strong-arm tactics, virtually destroying the IAEA-NPT-NSG nuke proliferation-prevention regime. But some worried members may prevent the BCMCB from approving the U.S.-India deal while Dubya is president.
    However, insofar as attacks on Pakistan are concerned, it doesn’t really matter who succeeds Dubya. Both McCain and Obama are on record as recognizing the need to kill or capture Osama bin Laden and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions as the true battleground in the War on Terror.
    Also, as far as attacks on Iran are concerned, it doesn’t really matter who succeeds Dubya, either. Both candidates have promised the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee – as well as serving Israeli officials – that they will satisfy the concerns of Likudnik paranoids, here and elsewhere, about the perceived threat of Iran’s nuclear programs.
    Some details of the alleged covert “nuclear weapons program,” obtained from the hard-drive of a laptop computer, allegedly stolen in Iran in 2004, had been supplied to us a few months later. We allowed the IAEA to take a peek at some of the contents in the summer of 2006.
    This year, IAEA Deputy Director Heinonen made a startling presentation – which he said was based upon smoking laptop information – to the IAEA Board of Governors which suggested Iran may have been working on a missile which may have been capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
    Whereupon, Dubya and Condi got – in contravention of the IAEA Statute and the UN Charter – the UN Security Council to pass Resolution 1803, which, after “expressing the conviction” that the “verified” total suspension of Iran’s IAEA Safeguarded programs “would contribute to a diplomatic, negotiated solution, that guarantees Iran’s nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes” – goes on to say that the Security Council is “determined” … to constrain Iran’s development of sensitive technologies in support of its nuclear and missile programs.”
    Of course, unless NPT-proscribed materials have been “diverted” to this alleged missile program, or the alleged sensitive technologies have actually been used in the physical or chemical transformation of NPT-proscribed materials, all of this is literally none of the IAEA’s business.
    Understand that IAEA inspectors have never, ever, accused Iran of diverting NPT-proscribed materials, to any program, peaceful or otherwise.
    In particular, in its latest report,
    “The Agency has been able to continue to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has provided the Agency with access to declared material and has provided the required nuclear material accounting reports in connection with declared nuclear material and activities.”
    Of course, Iran now flatly refuses to continue to address the endless allegations about its alleged “nuclear weapons program” which Bush-Cheney-Bolton-Rice has strong-armed the Security Council into requiring Iran to refute.
    So, Javier Solana, the European Union’s “foreign policy chief,” says the Iranian refusals will have to be addressed by the UN General Assembly.
    But, on March 28, Iran’s foreign minister wrote a letter to the UN Secretary-General, which began by noting – correctly – that Iran “has consistently complied with its obligations” under both the NPT and the IAEA Statute.
    It then went on to note the “irrational opposition” of the United States (and the Likudniks) to Iran’s exercising its “inalienable rights” as affirmed in the NPT and IAEA Statute, and further charged that their “instrumental manipulation” of the IAEA Board and Security Council had resulted in international law and the UN Charter being “seriously violated.”
    Then, just last month, 115 members of the Non-Aligned Movement issued a strongly worded declaration, expressing support for Iran’s insistence upon pursuing “without discrimination” its “inalienable rights” – affirmed under the NPT – and deploring the misuse (by Bush-Cheney-Rice-Bolton) of the IAEA for political purposes and the forced involvement of the UN Security Council in matters not properly its concern under the UN Charter.
    So, if the Iranian-Likudnik standoff now goes to the General Assembly for resolution, how do you think that will turn out?
    And what will the Likudniks do then?

    Reply

  6. varanassi says:

    since when are enemies, POA?
    i didn’t think i was ruining any thread. sorry. that was not my intention. in fact, i was trying to contribute to the dialogue.
    i’m not sure about what’s happened in these forums in the past past, but clearly you’ve been scarred by the exchanges.
    don’t worry, POA, i come in peace.

    Reply

  7. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Yeah, and I’ve linked to “Peace Now” on numerous occassions. “By extension”, that means “all Israelis” must be Peace Now members, right?
    Varinassi is far from “correct”, Sweetness. But you’re right, this is entirely predictable. Its what you jackasses do to any and every thread that touches on AIPAC or Israel.

    Reply

  8. Sweetness says:

    Varanassi,
    As Pissed suggests, it probably isn’t worth getting into this topic, if
    only because we can all write the script before it plays out…
    But as to your observation about nazis, etc., you are clearly correct.
    Just so you don’t feel as though you’re seeing things.

    Reply

  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “but, i have seen a few regular posters on this blog repeatedly call israelis – and by extension all israelis – nazis”
    Oh crap, here we go again. Just STFU.

    Reply

  10. varanassi says:

    i agree with you, sweetness.
    and i did not intend to label any of the commenters in this thread as anti-semitic.
    but, i have seen a few regular posters on this blog repeatedly call israelis – and by extension all israelis – nazis. and i could be wrong, but i don’t think i’ve ever seen anyone take exception with or dispute that characterization.
    in any event, im glad to see the professional, organized jewish world following the political lead of american jewry as a whole.
    but, here’s my question: will obama receive a greater degree of the black vote or the jewish vote?

    Reply

  11. Sweetness says:

    “Anyway, some of us have, for years on this blog and elsewhere,
    have sought exactly to differentiate Zionists (I’ll just use that
    word instead of Neocons and Likudniks because it encompasses
    at least these subsets) from Jews.”
    There is a distinction to be made here, to be sure. In fact, in the
    earliest days of Zionism, Jews were the principal opponents of
    Zionism as it was a debate taking place with Jewry about the fate
    of the people, the right direction in which to go, etc.
    That said, it is equally unfortunate the way in which “Zionism”
    and “Zionists” have become slurs and simply elided with the
    neocon philosophy and the Likud Party. A total error in fact. If
    you look at it, J Street is Zionist. MJ Rosenberg at tpmcafe is a
    Zionist. Rabin was a Zionist. I would venture to say that most
    (though not all) of the Jews who live in Israel are Zionists of one
    stripe or another. However, they aren’t Zionists in the AIPAC
    mold. Or mould.
    There are left wing Zionists and right wing ones; peace-seeking
    Zionists and warmongering Zionists. And everything in the
    middle. And it’s worth noting that Zionism is evolving just like
    most isms. This is just a fact and worth paying attention to.

    Reply

  12. DonS says:

    re Varanassi, “a view that is seldom heard around here”, POA is correct, and I am sorry I hadn’t chimed in before. It gets tedious to address these issues because they quite often attract a breed of Zionists that I find toxic.
    Anyway, some of us have, for years on this blog and elsewhere, have sought exactly to differentiate Zionists (I’ll just use that word instead of Neocons and Likudniks because it encompasses at least these subsets) from Jews.
    The distinction between a political movement and a religion is the distinction that modern Zionists — and their AIPAC cohorts — would obfuscate for the general public. THAT conflation is responsible for 1) stirring up a lot of survivor guilt in both Jewish and non-Jewish communities, and thus surprising criticism of Zionist goals and tactics and 2) laying the groundwork for charges of anti-Semitism, which reinforces #1 and is a universally implied threat disqualifying any attempt at rational discussion/criticism of Israel.
    Seems like our current candidates have learned their lessons well; all are right on the pandering page.
    Up until now there has been little downside for any politician to criticize Israeli and I don’t hold my breath for this in the near future, though J Street, Jewish Voice For Peace, etc, are hopeful signs.

    Reply

  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, I find it interesting that Steve has not commented on the IAEA Iran report, seeing as how he foreshadowed its release.
    I see AIPAC is spinning the content of the report on its website, even committing to the lie that Iran’s nuclear program can somehow be construed as “illicit”. This despite the fact that Iran has broken no treaties or international laws.

    Reply

  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “it seems as if some have conflated the jewish neocons and likkudniks as representative of jews as a whole”
    Actually, thats horseshit. Most of us here have gone to great pains to separate “Jews” from our extreme displeasure with Israel’s and AIPAC’s positions.
    The fact is, it is the self-admitted “zionists” that invariably dry to drag “jews” into the debate. Only then, after they have succeeded in making it “about the jews” can they then blather their time-worn accusations of anti-semitism.

    Reply

  15. varanassi says:

    thank you, david.
    you express a view that is seldom heard around here. it seems as if some have conflated the jewish neocons and likkudniks as representative of jews as a whole. nothing could be further from the truth.
    the fact is that american jewry is disproportionately liberal and involved in supporting causes related to social welfare and equality.
    and when it comes to u.s. politics, just look at these numbers:
    http://tinyurl.com/2dpety
    no republican presidential candidate has ever received a greater percentage of the jewish vote than eisenhower in in 1956… and that was only 40%
    and in terms of jewish american complicity in the disgraces of the bush administration, comparatively few worked for him. of course a handful were high profile, but just look at the cabinet, deputy and under secretaries, cia and fbi ranks – not many jews. and VERY few jewish americans voted for him. only 19% in 2000!
    i’m glad to see that some of the professional, jewish, activist establishment came to their senses and and disinvited palin, but what the hell were they doing inviting her in the first place!
    maybe they realized that they were really out of step with their community’s sentiments at the moment. the fact is that most of the organizers of this event are fundraisers. they run non profit, social welfare organizations that do a tremendous amount of good in this country and around the world. but their big problem at the moment is one of demographics. their donor base is shrinking. the old donors are dying and, for a number of different reason, not the least of which they actually had the temerity to invite palin to this event, they aren’t being replaced by a younger generation of donors.
    mccain/palin? i’d be surprised if they get 10% of the under 40 jewish vote and i’d be surprised if they get 20% of the jewish vote overall.

    Reply

  16. David says:

    Having been involved in the Civil Rights movement at the University of Florida in the early 60s, and after that as a teacher, I remember with great admiration, and in personal cases affection, Jews who were at the forefront – courageous, articulate, and real forces for doing what was right. It has been very hard to watch some of the directions Jewish leadership has gone. When I first learned about the JStreet project, I felt a real sense of joy. Spot on, Kathleen (and Thanks, Scott Paul, for this post – strip away liberal Jewish humanitarians, and there would be a terrible hole in America’s soul and collective intellect).

    Reply

  17. Kathleen says:

    Go J Street!!! Hillary should never have accepted that invitation in the first place….be that as it may, speaking as a UN-ophile, here’s an invitation BO/Biden should accept…
    The McCain-Palin Visit to the United Nations
    Next Tuesday, the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly opens and President George W. Bush will address the assembly for the last time. Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are expected to be on hand to meet with world leaders. Their visit is a high-profile opportunity to highlight the importance of a strong U.S.-UN relationship in the years ahead.
    The Better World Campaign and our sister organization, the United Nations Foundation, are working together on an ad for Tuesday‘s New York Times. With all eyes on New York next week during the General Assembly, this is a unique opportunity to help encourage a renewed U.S. leadership role at the UN and to foster international cooperation in support of a better, safer world.
    Help us send a message in Tuesday’s New York Times urging a strong U.S.-UN relationship.
    This ad outlines specific steps the next Administration can take to strengthen the U.S. relationship with the UN (we are also sending our memo to Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden).
    International cooperation through the United Nations is needed now more than ever to combat global climate change, promote peace and reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and ease poverty and disease around the world. Working together is not only necessary to overcome the world’s challenges, it also ensures that no nation has to bear all the risks, burdens, or costs of achieving a safer, more prosperous world.
    DONATE NOW: with your support, we can open a new chapter in the U.S.-UN relationship and help jump-start international cooperation on the world’s great global challenges. Please join us.
    Sincerely,
    Your friends at the Better World Campaign
    http://www.betterworldcampaign.org/
    P.S. Be sure to visit BetterWorldCampaign.org for more information about the UN General Assembly next week and to take action to create a strong U.S.-UN relationship.

    Reply

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