Three large Jewish groups have protested a decision by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to remove Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin from the list of invitees to the rally against the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations. She was taken off the list shortly after Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton angrily said the she would not attend because Governor Palin also was invited.
The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), National Council of Young Israel and the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) complained to Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference over the move to remove politicians from the event. They complained that member organizations of the Conference should have been consulted.
National Council of Young Israel President Shlomo Z. Mostofsky said his organization was" deeply disturbed by the decision. We were not consulted before this decision was made, nor was our opinion ever sought by the rally organizers," he wrote Hoenlein. "We would have never acquiesced to withdrawing Governor Palin's invitation and we think that doing so was a serious mistake."
We were not consulted before this decision was made, nor was our opinion ever sought by the rally organizers.
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said that the anti-Iran rally, scheduled for Monday, is "an anti-Iran rally, not a partisan political rally, as Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton was invited as was Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden and later Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler of Florida. Clinton withdrew and Biden apparently could not 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"Under tremendous pressure from Jewish Democrats and liberal Jewish groups, Palin's invitation was withdrawn with a decision made not to include any politicians.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?"
Klein called the decision "wrong-headed" and one which would 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."