Why Sarah Palin Supports Rand Paul

— by Benyamin Korn, founder of Jews for Sarah

While I in no way speak for Sarah Palin in any authorized capacity, Aaron Keyak raises a valid question as to why Gov. Palin should support Sen. Rand Paul, especially given his foreign policy views.

The answer is simple: Ms. Palin’s primary focus is on U.S. domestic policy, and particularly on the disastrous economic course of the Obama administration and its progressive allies of both parties, which she has described as “a bullet train to bankruptcy.”

Continued after the jump.
In Sen. Paul, like his father, Gov. Palin sees a vociferous opponent to the progressives’ massive expansion of Federal government, radically higher taxation (including Obamacare), and so-called quantative easing — which is really a euphemism for the Federal Reserve printing $85 billion a month to prop up the stock market, the real estate market and the tepid “economic recovery.” Before long, both Sen. Paul and Gov. Palin have been warning, Americans will experience a very rude awakening from such reckless economic stewardship.

As to foreign policy, there is certainly a debate going on within Republican circles, primarily over the scope and legitimacy of U.S. foreign interventions, but extending to the issue of foreign aid. Immediately following his week-long visit to Israel this January, Sen. Paul introduced legislation to block the transfer of 200 Abrams tanks and 24 F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime of Mohammed Morsi. He also stated that his position on cutting foreign aid should apply first to countries (such as Pakistan and Egypt) which are hostile to the United States. And he opposed President Obama’s gift last month of $240 million to the Morsi regime (certainly a band-aid considering the collapse of Egypt’s economy following the Obama-backed ouster of Mubarak, but one which President Obama has now supplemented with the sale of 140,000 tear gas canisters to help Morsi suppress domestic unrest).

While the NJDC is right that Gov. Palin would probably disagree with any form of reduced support for Israel, the foreign aid debate has clearly not been a “wedge issue” between her and the good doctor from Kentucky, whose support for Israel is clear, despite his more libertarian views on foreign aid.

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.”


Response from Jews for Sarah

— Benyamin Korn, Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin

Regarding David Streeter’s rather shrill indictment of our ad in the Washington Jewish Week for a shabbaton featuring a public talk by Gov. Sarah Palin, in conjunction with the pro-life group Heroic Media: JewsForSarah is proud to be offering this event in conjunction with the banquet dinner of Heroic Media. Our sole reason for not describing Heroic Media’s pro-life mission in our ad for the shabbaton (a question raised originally by Politico‘s Ben Smith) — there simply was no room to do so.

It is typical of news media treatment of Gov. Palin to want to divert the conversation about her to side issues. As our ad indicates, JewsForSarah‘s main reasons for supporting her are our opposition to the “progressive” takeover of the American government, our opposition to Pres. Obama’s relentless diplomatic pressure on Israel, our support for American energy independence, and our opposition to the runaway fiscal and spending policies of Pres. Obama and the “progressive” Democrats. We support Gov. Palin because we find her to be the most effective public advocate for these positions, and the President’s most effective critic.

But since he fairly raises the question of our cooperation with a pro-life group, may I say that Mr. Streeter does an injustice simply by throwing the label “anti-choice” onto Heroic Media and their work. Anyone may visit HeroicMedia.org, where this self-description is found:

Heroic media’s mission is to reduce abortion and create a Culture of Life by connecting women facing unexpected pregnancies to life-affirming resource centers.

More after the jump.

This type of work may not be pro-abortion, but it is hard to see how it is “anti-choice.”

Now Mr. Streeter may take a certain comfort that many American Jews keep him company in the precincts of the “pro-choice” movement. And some JewsForSarah supporters agree with him, nevertheless rallying behind Gov. Palin for the reasons stated above.

But we are astonished by the silence in morally-attuned Jewish circles to the stark fact that 87,273 abortions were performed in New York City in the year 2009 (we do not have Philadelphia data), where a staggering 41% of pregnancies ended in abortion. Among African-American women in New York in that year, nearly 60% of pregnancies were ended by abortion. (New York Sun)

Moreover, in our view, the Jewish community suffers from a demographic crisis of our own, and would do well to more fully embrace a “Culture of Life.” (Perhaps even needing our own Heroic Jewish Media.)

Finally, as to Mr. Streeter’s denunciation of Gov. Palin’s “extremist position on women’s rights,” Philadelphia Jewish Voice readers are recommended to Kay Hymowitz’s excellent essay, Sarah Palin and the Battle for Feminism. If Mr. Streeter believes that orthodox, left-wing feminism still holds a monopoly on the American women’s movement, he was disproved on Nov. 4, 2010, when an unprecedented number of conservative, mostly Republican, women shattered numerous glass ceilings and entered American public office, and he is in for a rather rude awakening in November 2012.  

Jews for Sarah Director debates Former NJDC Director Ira Forman

In the aftermath of Sarah Palin‘s “blood libel” remark, Rabbi Mark S. Golub moderated a debate on Shalom TV between:

They discussed former Alaska Governor and possible Republican presidential candidate Sarah and her standing in the Jewish community.

Why Sarah Palin was right to call it a ‘Blood Libel’

— Benyamin Korn

Why did Sarah Palin choose to use the term “blood libel” in her remarks several days after the Tucson shootings?  

I have an account of how it happened.  

Now I am in no way a spokesman for, or employee of, Gov. Palin, nor is my organization, Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin, connected to her organization in any way.  But as the leader of a grassroots organization of American Jews who support Gov. Palin and her policies, I am acquainted with enough individuals close to her advisers, to have learned this story through what I regard as reliable sources.

First, we can discard the myths that have come to surround her choice of the phrase.

It certainly was not because she “does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history,” as David Harris of the National Jewish Democratic Council has claimed.  Gov. Palin is, in fact, surprisingly well-informed about Jewish history.  Consider, for example, the thoughtful Facebook message she distributed last month, on the occasion of Hannukah:

“More than two thousand years after the Maccabees rebelled against their oppressors and reconsecrated their Holy Temple, the Jewish people continue to face threats to their existence, and they continue to persevere and overcome great odds. Today we should all recommit ourselves to ensuring that the miracle of a Jewish state endures forever. The dreidel is one of the most familiar symbols of Hanukkah, with Hebrew letters on it representing the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham — “a great miracle happened there.” Indeed a great miracle is still happening there. Todd and I wish the Jewish community a very Happy Hanukkah.

More after the jump.
Nor was it because she is insensitive to Jewish feelings, as some snarky bloggers have intimated.  On the contrary, from her statements and actions, Gov. Palin has demonstrated time and again that she feels closer to Israel and the Jewish people than any American political figure in recent memory.

Anyone who saw the little Israeli flag perched behind her desk well before the 2008 election, or has noticed the pin of American and Israeli flags that almost constantly adorns her left lapel, despite the negligible number of Jewish voters in Alaska, knows of her special affection for the Jewish State and people. No one who has heard her speak with conviction of America as a Judeo-Christian nation, and of our Constitution as founded in Judeo-Christian principles, can doubt that.

So here is what happened.

Within hours of the Tucson killings, partisan pundits began circulating utterly unfounded accusations that Gov. Palin had somehow incited the violence.  They pointed to a map on her web site that showed a target symbol on numerous congressional districts, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  Democrats and Republicans have routinely used similar election-strategy maps for years.  But Palin-bashers sensed an opportunity to score points, so they went for the jugular and falsely accused her of responsibility for the bloodshed.

For four days, Gov. Palin refrained from responding.  Appropriately, she did not want to divert attention from the Tucson tragedy.  But her very restraint became the new grounds for indecent political assault.  Her detractors began claiming that her failure to respond indicated a guilty conscience.  She was damned if she did, and damned if she did not.

Over the course of that tumultuous weekend following the shootings, Gov. Palin and her staff carefully reviewed the press commentary. They read the column by Glenn Reynolds in the Wall Street Journal, using the phrase “blood libel” to describe the attacks on her. Another prominent commentator had called the anti-Palin smears a “libel” against Palin and the conservative movement. So Gov. Palin and her advisors decided to incorporate the phrase into her well-modulated rejoinder.

Gov. Palin and her advisers were well aware that “blood libel” originated in medieval accusations against Jews.  They were also well aware that the term has for years been used by commentators all across the spectrum, in America and abroad, in response to false accusations of committing or inciting murder. So Mrs. Palin and her staff had a reasonable expectation that this was a perfectly legitimate — if pungent — way to describe the false charges being leveled against her and her colleagues.

David Harris and several other Jewish opponents of Gov. Palin strenuously objected to her use of the term “blood libel.”  That was their right.  But what was not right was for they, or the news media, to rush to judgment that Jews were universally offended by Palin’s remark.

During the past ten days, I have spoke to numerous Jewish communal activists, rabbis, and just plain Jews.  I have not found anyone who was sincerely offended by the term.

On the contrary, in recent days, numerous prominent Jews have publicly defended Gov. Palin’s choice of words, including former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach — indisputably three important and influential voices in the American Jewish community.  They recognize that the term enjoys a currency in modern usage which is non-specific to Jews, much as a “crusade against littering” or calling Las Vegas “the entertainment mecca of America” are presumed to be metaphorical. Only when Sarah Palin used the term did everyone go (nonviolently) ballistic.

One of our JewsForSarah readers put it this way: “A blood libel is an imputation of murder based not on what one has actually done, but based on who one is.” I can think of no better way to describe this whole sorry affair.

Benyamin Korn, former executive editor of the Jewish Exponent, is director of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin.