The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the National Jewish Democratic Convention and the left-wing J Street lobby for pressuring anti-Iran organizers to disinvite Republican vice presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin while not calling on Democrats to attend. The Democratic party claimed that it did not want Gov. Palin to attend because the rally should not be politically oriented. However, Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton previously announced she would not attend because she did not want to share the stage with Gov. Palin.


Morton A. Klein, president of ZOA, said, "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."

The rally was not a partisan political rally. It became a 'partisan' event when Governor Palin was disinvited.


Klein added that the Jewish Democratic committee and J Street "were clearly less than thrilled about Gov. Palin attending because their concern for Israel was clearly subordinate to their domestic American political interests. Rather than welcome a call from Gov. 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."


He continued, "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,


The ZOA, the National Council of Young Israel, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs complained that they were not consulted by the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations, which disinvited Gov. Palin.


"There was no emergency call set up to discuss the decision to disinvite Palin," said Klein. Malcolm Hoenlein, president of the Conference, has not commented on the complaints, and he has been attacked in the past for decisions that critics said did not represent the common Jewish voice.


The Conference sent its members an "urgent notice" about a conference call disinviting the Republican vice presidential candidate.


CAMERA executive director Andrea Levine told the New York-based Jewish Forward that Hoenlein told her the governor was disinvited under the threat of other organizers that they would pull out of the anti-Iran rally. 


The newspaper quoted "insiders" in reporting that the liberal "JCPA and the New York-based organizers had clashed with Hoenlein over his decision to reach out to the McCain campaign without telling Clinton, who had been invited weeks ago, or the Obama campaign. Hoenlein countered that he did so only after Republicans rebuffed his efforts to have a senator attend."