20 September 2008 - Democrats threaten American Jews, and leaders capitulate
It was bad enough to learn that the American Jewish organizations that are organizing a protest next week in New York against Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad agreed to dis-invite Republican vice-presidential candidate (and Alaska governor) Sarah Palin.
They did so only because New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who had been previously scheduled to speak at the event, suddenly pulled out in order to spare the Obama campaign the possible embarrassment of America's top two political women sharing the stage.
At first, I thought this revealed a lack of political courage. If one political party pulls out of a rally (which was organized around a cause that should concern all Americans), there's no reason to placate it by dumping the other. It's not up to Jewish organizations to prove their bipartisanship; rather, it's up to the two parties to compete for Jewish votes by proving their dedication to Jewish concerns.
Now there are reports that the Democrats threatened to withdraw the tax-exempt status of Jewish organizations if they allowed Palin to attend the rally. I don't see any denials out there yet, so the story would seem to be true. If so, it's a disgrace.
The Jewish organizations should have told the Democrat leadership to take a hike. But they didn't--and that's what happens when you allow any political party (particularly one that is inclined, now more than ever, to view itself as morally superior to its opponents) to take your support for granted.
The Obama campaign complains about "smears," but the only real scare stories I've seen out there in the Jewish community are those that warn people of all the terrible things the Republicans will do if McCain wins. The loyalty of American Jews to the Democrat establishment is neither appreciated nor reciprocated.
There are signs that more Jewish voters are waking up to that reality. The Jewish vote doesn't count for much, but it may be an important bloc in a few swing states--and who knows? it may even swing New York this time around. Regardless of who wins in November, this is a painful and important lesson for Jewish supporters of the Democratic party, which has told them: "You are expendable."
And who's behind it all? Why, the new "J Street" lobby, supported by Obama funder George Soros. J Street was supposed to be the dovish alternative to AIPAC but now turns out to be little more than a Democrat front and has actually taken pride in disrupting plans for an anti-Ahmedinejad protest.