After the invitation for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, to speak at next week’s “Stop Iran” rally in New York was rescinded, the blame game began.
The Republican Jewish Coalition joined with the McCain campaign to blame Democratic partisanship for Palin’s removal, which they say hands victory to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Democrats, including Ira Forman of the National Jewish Democratic Council countered that the inappropriate invitation to Palin had turned what was supposed to be a non-partisan event into a campaign rally organized by a leading Jewish organization.
“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad has been quite clear of his intentions to acquire nuclear weapons; his anti-Semitic rants and desire to annihilate Israel are well-known,” RJC executive director Matt Brooks said in a statement. “Today Senators Obama and Biden and their supporters have handed Ahmadenijad a big win. What should have been a strong effort by the Jewish community to stand up and show the world that we are united in our fight against this madman has instead been hijacked by those with a political agenda. This is a very sad day for the Jewish community.”
Brooks said he was also disappointed that neither Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama nor his running mate, Joseph Biden, chose to participate in the rally. But neither Obama or Biden were invited, which was one of the central complaints of their campaign.
Forman told reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon that it was wrong for rally organizers to invite only one party to the non-partisan event.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton backed out of the rally earlier in the week after learning of the Palin invitation. Clinton expected a comparable congressional Republican representative would share the stage with her, but didn’t expect to be paired up with the GOP vice presidential candidate at such an event, Forman told reporters on a conference call.