Mitz-Vote

Jewish Palin Fan Takes to the Airwaves

By Maia Efrem

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Benyamin Korn, one of Sarah Palin’s most ardent Jewish fans, now has a regularly scheduled news hour aimed at conservative talk radio listeners in Philadelphia. Korn, the founder of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin and former editor of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent, launched Jewish Independent Talk Radio September 5 on Philadelphia’s 990 AM WNTP.

Announcing the show’s weekly Sunday afternoon schedule, Korn listed politically conservative figures like William Kristol, Dr. Phyllis Chesler and Zev Chafets as scheduled guests. WNTP, which is an affiliate of Salem Radio Network, hosts nationwide conservative and Christian talk radio.

Launched in April, Jews for Palin’s mission statement describes the organization as an “independent group of academic, religious and political leaders, dedicated to promoting consideration of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political positions in the wider American Jewish community.”

In a Jerusalem Post interview, Korn said he plans on gathering 50 board members and building several chapters of Jews for Palin in the U.S. He also aims to woo the large Modern Orthodox community in New Jersey for support – and to garner wider attention via an event to take place before the congressional mid-term elections in November, where Korn hopes to gather “hundreds, if not thousands” of Jews in support of Palin. “We will attract a lot of notice the way we’re going to do it,” Korn told the Post.

Palin is widely considered to be a friend of Israel, a selling point to Jewish voters. Although Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matthew Brooks would not comment on Korn’s efforts specifically, he told the Forward that she’s a “passionate defender … and somebody who is unapologetic in her support of Israel.”

Korn did not respond to requests for an interview about his new radio show.

David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, maintains that American Jews don’t need Palin’s particular brand of support.

“Where [Palin] is on policies, the types of things she says, the types of stunning, reprehensible comments that she is comfortable supporting, it’s just something that will vehemently turn the vast majority of American Jews off,” Harris said. He referenced Palin’s recent championing of Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s use of racial epithets on the radio, and Palin’s encouragement of supporters to read commentary on the BP oil spill that draws comparisons between President Obama and Hitler.


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