A rally will be held today at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, outside the UN Headquarters in New York City. It is being sponsored by a host of American Jewish groups, amongst which are the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Its purpose is to protest Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN General Assembly, which is scheduled for Tuesday.
Protesters will voice opposition to Iran’s nuclear program and its global support of terrorism. They will condemn Ahmadinejad’s holocaust denials and his threats to wipe Israel and America off the face of the map. Additionally, protesters will criticize Iran’s blatant human rights abuses, including, but not limited to child executions.
On September 16, 2008, a rally organizer publicly announced that Senator Hillary Clinton, Governor Sarah Palin, and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel will appear at the rally. Hours after hearing the news of Palin’s pending attendance, Senator Clinton, who had been confirmed for months, promptly withdrew her promise to attend.
Rally organizers then contacted Obama’s campaign and invited Vice Presidential Candidate Biden to attend the rally in order to “balance out” Palin’s appearance. Some of the non-profit participants claimed to be concerned that having the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate speak at the rally, without also inviting the Democrat Vice Presidential Candidate, would cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. “The IRS is very clear, Hillary Clinton does not equal Sarah Palin. You have to have equal representation of candidates.” commented one anonymous organizer. However, Senator Biden declined the invitation, citing a pre-existing commitment.
The Obama campaign offered to send Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler from Florida in Biden’s stead. But in the end, rally organizers decided not to allow any political officials to attend the event. Two days after Clinton withdrew her acceptance to appear, organizers disinvited Governor Palin, even though she had already accepted their invitation. In a public statement, the spokesperson for the Stop Iran Coalition commented, “in order to keep the focus on Iranian threats, and to ensure that this critical message not be obscured, the organizers of the rally have decided not to have any American political personalities appear [at the rally].”
Tom Neumann, Executive Director of The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (“JINSA”) wrote a letter to Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, which harshly condemned the organization’s decision to disinvite Palin. Additionally, he criticized the fact that the decision was made without consulting JINSA or other member organizations. However, one organization leader argued that the initial decision to invite Palin was also made without consulting member organizations, and that the decision to disinvite her came after two days of conference calls with angry event planners.
Governor Palin expressed her disappointment at being disinvited, but emphasized that she and Presidential candidate John McCain will remain steadfast in their opposition to Iran. “This should be an issue that unites all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, period. John McCain and I are committed to drawing attention to the dangers posed by Iran’s nuclear program and we will not waiver in our commitment. I will continue to call for sustained action to prevent Iranian President Ahmadinejad from getting these weapons to launch a second holocaust.”
According to the Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, several Democrat Congressmen and the liberal group known as “J Street” (designed to counter AIPAC), pressured rally organizers to withdraw Palin’s invitation. The McCain campaign pointed fingers at the Obama camp, holding them responsible for pressuring rally organizers to withdraw Palin’s invitation. However, the Obama campaign denied any involvement in the decision.
In the meantime, while petty politics continues between Democrats and Republicans, America’s true enemies are planning and plotting America’s demise. America faces great enemies and grave threats. When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, they did not care if their victims were Democrat or Republican. Neither will Ahmadinejad inquire about party affiliation when Iran decides to commence Armageddon.
Democrats and Republicans must stop their in-fighting and bickering. Both parties have greater threats to confront than mere party opposition. Elected officials and the American people at large had better learn to decipher who their real enemies are and unite as a country….. before it’s too late.