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 security agenda.
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 t
he prospect of Ahmadinejad wrapping himself in an Israeli flag and singing "Hatikva" on the UN rostrum.
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.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.