Presidential Campaign Fail To Vet Their Supporters

The Obama and Romney campaigns are both being attacked today having failed to vet their list of supporters.

Meanwhile, Romney has similar problems of his own:

  • Dr. John Willke is the doctor who misinformed Rep. Todd Aiken that women who are victims of “legitimate rape” do not become pregnant because their bodies “shut down” due to the trauma. Aiken is under pressure to abandon his US Senate campaign against Claire McCaskill in Missouri for having given voice to such an ignorant, misogynistic point of view. Dr. Willke told The Telegraph that he had a private meeting with Mitt Romney at his Cincinnati home last October and that Romney thanked him for his support and told him, “we agree on almost everything.”

    The 87-year-old endorsed Mr. Romney’s bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination and was one of his official campaign surrogates. “I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement,” Mr. Romney said at the time.

  • As we reported in June, the GOP selected Yossi Gestetner as their “Jewish Outreach Director” in New York. As reported by The Jewish Channel and Vos Iz Neias, “The newly appointed Director of Jewish Outreach for New York State’s Republican party has resigned from his position after just eight days in office, calling himself a distraction to the party.” The distraction? Espousing anti-Zionist positions, among others.

    As Vos Iz Neias notes,

    “According to a report by The Jewish Channel, Gestetner’s resignation came less than thirty minutes after Josh Rubin, a reporter for NY1, asked State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox about an investigation of Gestetner by The Jewish Channel, which conducted an hour long on-camera interview with Gestetner. During that interview, Gestetner discussed several issues that may put him at odds with both the Republican party and many of New York State’s 1.6 million Jewish residents, which include his being a spokesman at a fundraiser to benefit an alleged child molester, his controversial stance on referring suspected cases of child abuse to a rabbi before alerting the authorities, his views on government assistance programs and his work for Torah True Jews Against Zionism, an anti-Israel organization that states that Zionism is contrary to Torah Judaism.”

 

Methodists Reject Divestment, But Tolerate Anti-Semitic Rant


CAMERA reports:

For the past several days, the United Methodist Church has been meeting in Tampa, Florida for its General Convention that is held every four years. At this convention, the delegates approved a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank.

The assembly also rejected a resolution that would require the denomination’s Board of Pensions and Health Benefits to sell its stock in three companies that do business with Israel — Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard and Motorola.

Yesterday’s video of processeds regarding these two resolutions:

The defeat of the divestment proposal was a bitter pill to swallow for many of the activists that descended on the UMC’s General Convention. Jewish Voice for Peace was out in force at the assembly, as were a number of anti-Israel activists from inside the denomination.

As is to be expected at the national assembly of any mainline church in the United States, the proceedings bespoke of a monomaniacal obsession on the alleged sins of the Jewish state and absolute silence about the misdeeds of other countries in the region.

Search the legislation before the assembly for resolutions regarding Coptic Christians in Egypt or Assyrians in Iraq and you will find nothing.

One of the more outrageous moments of the assembly took place after it became apparent that the proposal to demand that the UMC sell stock in the three companies mentioned above was not going to pass. A woman who introduced herself as Margaret Novak said the following to the gathered assembly:

I would just ask us all to imagine we were United Methodists in the 1930s and 40s [and] that our Board of Pensions held stock in the very successful manufacturing firms in Germany that bid and received the bids to manufacture the ovens for the concentration camps. At what point would we decide it was time to divest? How much evidence would we ask for before it was time to stop the wholesale destruction of people?

Source: Video of 2nd Session +0:05:47 to +0:06:37

The moderator did not call her out of order, but merely asked if her speech was for or against the non-divestment resolution then before the assembly. (She was against.)

Margaret Novak compared Israeli policies in the West Bank to the destruction of Jews in Europe. She made this statement in front of several hundred people and the moderator of the assembly let her statement pass unchallenged.

More after the jump.
Novak’s comparison between current Israeli policies and that of the Nazi regime falls under the working definition of antisemitism issued by the European Forum on Antisemitism. This definition warns against “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

Novak’s suggestion that the Israelis are perpetrating a genocide (“wholesale destruction of people”) is defamatory. The population of the Palestinians has grown fourfold in the decades since the 1948 War.

Will someone from the UMC’s leadership condemn Novak’s remarks before the General Convention comes to an end on Friday May 4, 2012 or will they pass unnoticed?

This is a reasonable question to ask. The UMC has been the source of some ugly rhetoric in the past. For more information about this problem go here and here.

James E. Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), can make it right. He can issue an unequivocal apology for the ugly anti-Semitism that was allowed to pass unchallenged at the UMC’s General Assembly on May 2, 2012.

It is also reasonable to ask if Jewish Voice for Peace [no relation to the Philadelphia Jewish Voice!] is going to condemn Novak’s rant. As stated above, JVP was out in force at the assembly.

And will the Methodist activists, operating under the banner of UM Kairos Response condemn Novak’s statement?

Such rhetoric simply cannot pass unnoticed at the UMC General Convention.

Will Winkler act? Will Jewish Voice for Peace respond? Will UM Kairos Response?

Not The Jewish Voice of Peace

— Kenneth Bob

When I was a teenager, the late Phil Ochs was a folk-singing hero of mine. In his classic song, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal,” he skewered armchair liberals who talked a good game, but wouldn’t go as far as their more radical comrades. This attitude, of course, appealed to many in my generation as we took to the streets and demonstrated for civil rights, against the Vietnam War and to free Soviet Jews.

I was reminded of Ochs’s song when Jewish Voice for Peace demonstrators disrupted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech at the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans. While I agree with JVP’s opposition to the occupation of the West Bank and the proposed loyalty oath, I am afraid that I am feeling like the liberal in the Phil Ochs song, as I will not join arms with the more radical JVP.

Why can’t I find common cause with this self-defined Jewish group that opposes Israeli policy toward the Palestinians?

More after the jump.

Note that the Philadelphia Jewish Voice is unrelated to the Jewish Voice of Peace, The Berkshire Jewish Voice, The Jewish Community Voice, The Deep South Jewish Voice, Kol Yehudi, Jewish Voice and Opinion, and The Progressive Jewish Voice.
My opposition to the ongoing occupation, the proposed loyalty oath, the treatment of non-Orthodox religious streams and other troubling developments in Israel all stem from my commitment to a Jewish, democratic Israel that realizes the vision of a state “based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace taught by the Hebrew Prophets” as described in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. I oppose destructive policies of Israel’s government precisely because of my love for Israel and my concern for its security and well being.

Unfortunately, JVP refuses to support the notion of Israel’s existence as a sovereign state, much less as a homeland for the Jewish people. Instead, JVP states that it “endorses neither a one-state solution, nor a two-state solution… we have members and supporters on both sides of this question, as well as many others who, like the organization as a whole, are agnostic about it.”

That is what separates progressive Zionists from JVP. We cannot be “agnostic” about the most central issue in the conflict, the importance of a solution that includes two states for two peoples, Israel and Palestine. It is ludicrous to suggest that one can be involved in the Jewish communal discourse about the future of the Middle East without having an opinion on whether Israel should exist. In addition, JVP’s stated support for a complete suspension of American military aid to Israel just emphasizes the organization’s cavalier attitude toward Israel’s survival.

News reports from New Orleans quoted G.A. participants who expressed support for the sentiment expressed by the demonstrators, if not for their tactics. This is understandable, since many young Jews are looking for ways to voice their own criticisms of Israel’s ongoing occupation of the West Bank. This should motivate the Jewish community to increase its efforts to foster open and frank discussions around controversial issues related to Israel, both in our local communities and at national events like JFNA’s G.A. Unfortunately, our communal track record has not always been good in this regard.

While those of us who are committed to Israel’s survival won’t be joining JVP’s demonstrations, we also cannot afford to emulate the liberals depicted by Phil Ochs, settling for reading the correct magazines (or blogs) but avoiding direct action. We need to find our own ways of letting the prime minister, as well American political leaders, know that American Jews strongly support action to bring about a two-state solution. Raising our voices can hopefully influence the decision makers and let concerned young Jews know that there is a place for their voices within the Jewish community.