Jewish Group Launches Online Campaign Against McCain/Palin

The National Jewish Democratic Council has begun an online campaign to oppose Sen. John McCain's choice of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate:

Senator John McCain made a poor choice in his first critical presidential decision with his vice presidential selection of Governor Sarah Palin. We, in the Jewish community, have to question McCain’s judgment for choosing a right-wing religious conservative with absolutely no foreign policy experience and a brewing scandal which is being investigated by the Alaska state legislature.

It is ironic that McCain, who turned 72 last week, has said, “The fundamental principle behind any selection of a running mate would be whether that person is fully prepared to take over.” And then McCain selected Palin???


Among the objections to Palin:

- Palin believes that creationism should be taught in our public schools.

- Palin is against reproductive choice and is against abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

- Palin does not believe climate change is man-made.

- Palin says she is against wasteful government spending, yet she endorsed the “bridge to nowhere” and then flip-flopped when it became a political liability.

Additionally, just last month, Palin was at her church, the Wasilla Bible Church, where she attended a speech by David Brickner, the Executive Director of Jews for Jesus. During the speech, Brickner described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.   

If she is such a supporter of Israel, why didn’t she condemn Brickner’s speech at the time?

Do we really want Palin to be one heartbeat away from the presidency?

You can sign their petition here.

More reasons for Jewish voters to oppose McCain/Palin are here. Politico had this last week on the topic.

In reality, Palin's record on Israel, while friendly, is as thin as you'd expect from the first-term governor of Alaska.

Here is the NJDC's Factsheet on Obama vs. McCain. (pdf)

< Palin Didn't Sell Alaska Plane on EBay | Hillary Camp: Go After McCain, Not Palin >
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    Finally! (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:06:27 PM EST
    The GOP is shooting for a culture war in a last ditch effort to distract the electorate from BushCo's disastrous policies.  Their divisive politics will be their downfall.  

    Americans aren't stupid; we're rising up to take back our government. This should help take Florida & PA out of contention, given the communications channels in Jewish communities in those states.  

    NO Repubs Left Behind in 2008!

    Don't forget Cleveland's Jewish voters. n/t (none / 0) (#11)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:15:00 PM EST
    Anchorage Daily News (none / 0) (#40)
    by msaroff on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 11:26:58 PM EST
    Not Alaska Daily news.

    Used to live there.


    Not everyone considers (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:13:32 PM EST
    that separation of church and state is really a big issue among traditional Jews (and the secular Jews are pretty much voting Democratic anyway).  In some ways, even moreso than it is for atheists and the like.

    Down through the centuries, an awful lot of countries have sought to prevent the Jews from teaching and passing on their religion.  And the result is a very knee-jerk reaction towards anything that looks like state religion or Christianity in the schools.

    A lot of the Jew-baiting with Palin has been total BS, but at the end of the day, you definitely lose Jewish voters by putting an evangelical on the ticket.  That's just the way it is.

    My experience is just the opposite... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by nrglaw on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:55:34 PM EST
    I have a family full of "traditional," that is, Orthodox Jews. I have never found that they are particularly nervous about Church/State issues. Orthodox Jews and evangelicals, in fact, have found oddly common ground on a certain brand of Religious Zionism. But they are 15% of the community.

    The large group of Conservative and Reform Jews, on the other hand (the remaining 85%), are usualy very sensitive on the subject and the most vocal. Rabbi Eric Yoffe, the head of the Union for Reform Judaism and de facto head of the Reform movement, is a very good example--much has been heard from him in recent years about the dangers of a the sort of breach in the church/state wall advocated by many on the Christian right.


    Exactly (none / 0) (#16)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:20:38 PM EST
    at the end of the day, you definitely lose Jewish voters by putting an evangelical on the ticket.  That's just the way it is.

    End of subject.


    No one said she was Satan (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by shoephone on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:25:20 PM EST
    As a Jew, I welcome liberal Jewish groups coming out and fighting the right wing and their counterproductive policies on Israel. The fact is, most American Jews are secular, and of those who are practicing, only the minority are orthodox. The majority are either conservative or reform. It's about high time Jewish groups reinforced the fact that we do not march in lockstep with Lieberman and that we do not support the goals of groups like AIPAC.

    But, apparently, any criticism of Palin is to be  considered bad form.

    Florida... (none / 0) (#1)
    by EddieInCA on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:51:07 PM EST
    ...in play?

    Probably (none / 0) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:55:44 PM EST
    But I very much doubt it will be the state that decides the election: there is a domino order of states, and Ohio is generally more Democratic (though perhaps also more racist).

    And Ohio... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Dadler on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:15:19 PM EST
    ...has SO many election fraud problems it's off the charts.

    Now these are legitimate, substantive (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    objections by and large.

    I just think it's worth pointing out that McCain has always been bad on the issues. The idea that Palin changes things substantively just doesn't ring true for me.  

    The jews for jesus thing is stupid (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:02:57 PM EST
    and I would stay away from that.

    The best attack on Palin is her alleged reform (none / 0) (#8)
    by Molly Bloom on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:09:47 PM EST
    pose- particularly the bridge and earmarks. She has opened herself up to an attack on these lines and it has the virtue to work against McCain as well.

    I know a lot of Jews who will not like the Jews for Jesus thing, but it seems to me to reinforce her with the evangelical base, so it is best left alone.


    It is stupid (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:16:18 PM EST
    moreso because it sets up the silly standard where if the pastor starts saying offensive stuff while you're in church, you're expected to get up and leave, or maybe raise your hand and note an objection for the record or something.

    Just because Palin is sitting there in church when the guest from Jews for Jesus starts talking, it doesn't establish any kind of link at all between her and the group.  It's a total smear by association, and even if Obama didn't have a pastor problem of his own, I still wouldn't approve of going there.


    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:18:29 PM EST
    What? It insulates against Wright. (none / 0) (#19)
    by nalo on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:03:34 PM EST
    You don't remember the primary with the attempts by right wing sources(newsmax?) to place Obama in attendance at a controversial sermon?  And Hillary's statement that she would have left the chuch if it had been her?  And when Obama finally had to do it?

    It does exactly the opposite. Think about it. (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by andgarden on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:04:44 PM EST
    Thought about it (none / 0) (#23)
    by nalo on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:40:02 PM EST
    The only way Obama loses is if he is portrayed too scary.  POW McCain is (wrongly) unimpeachable on this issue.

    McCain/Palin is now scary to to at least Florida. If Obama wins Florida, the election is over.


    No (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:46:51 PM EST
    It does not "insulate" anything, except within the minds of too-clever-by-half liberals who think like "now they can't get us on [huge scandal] because we can just come back with [trivia item no one has heard of]!"

    Agree. And there are other problems with the issue (none / 0) (#38)
    by nrglaw on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 10:52:49 PM EST
    I have looked carefully at Christian Evangelism in the US today and the Jewish reaction to it. Evangelism directed at Jews is supported actively by many mainline Churches. The Southern Baptist Convention, for example, has openly endorsed the practice and funded such missionary work with over $125 million.

    This is a large enterprise, and a range of groups of messianic Jews have grown up over the years, such as Jews for Jesus, Jewish Christians and Messianic Hebrews.

    Jewish reaction to Jews for Jesus and similar groups is uniformly negative, partly because Jews come into direct contact with them in the large Jewish communities that are the prime candidates for evangelistic activity.

    On the other hand, Jewish reaction to the practice of evangelism directed at Jews (apart from any specific group)is much more muted because it is not really well understood in the Jewish community. Jews do not tend to discuss the subject of Christian evangelism very much, and they do so only rarely with non-Jews. The proof of general Jewish indifference on the subject is that there is only one significant Jewish group, Jews for Judaism, that does counter-missionary work, and they exist on an absolute shoestring.

    From all this I conclude a few things. First, though Jews are not likely to be well disposed to any contacts between Palin and Jews for Jesus, no major Jewish leadership group would engage in a dialogue on this subject in the public sphere. Quite simply, its just not done. At best, the response would be that you haven't made a case. Second, you also can't successfully conduct a campaign about this issue directed to the wider Jewish population. Jews as a group stay away from discussion of unfamiliar matters, like Evangelism, that carry with them any risk that they could be perceived as anti-Christian.

    As a Jew, I personally object to her even attending a sermon by David Brickner, but my views are not typical.

    This should be left alone. Jews won't touch it.


    It's a trap (none / 0) (#20)
    by Pianobuff on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:04:03 PM EST
    not a good place to go.

    I don't think it's stupid at all. (none / 0) (#9)
    by steviez314 on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:12:55 PM EST
    Now, this isn't a national kind of issue, but could be a good target to swing 3-5% in a few states (FL, NV, OH).

    Parts of the Christian Evangelical movement are deep down very harmful to Jewish interests.  Now some Jews have welcomed that movement because of their support of Israel, without really thinking why--it's because they need Israel intact for their End of Days.

    I think older Jews (like my mother) are deeply bothered by the Religious Right--we have no place in their world, except to be saved.

    Even some neo-con righties are troubled by this.  Everyone thought it was just a marriage of convenience like under Bush.  But now, it will be much more open and serious and does have some potential if worked correctly.


    I used to be a church musician. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 05:16:13 PM EST
    Plenty of wing nut guest speakers in an essentially liberal protestant denomination.  

    Granted (none / 0) (#27)
    by robrecht on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:10:59 PM EST
    It all depends on who asks the question.  Obama and his surrogates should not.  But Jewish citizens are completely in their rights and doing the rest of us a favor to ask Palin as an audience member if she agrees with such nonsense.  She should appreciate the opportunity to disassociate herself from such nonsense.  If she does not, let her dig her own grave.  If she does, let the right wing whack-jobs fight it out among themselves.  Some might even learn something.

    With five kids to keep in line, (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:21:11 PM EST
    she actually would have a pretty good defense that she didn't hear it.

    I agree with this. (none / 0) (#31)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:37:06 PM EST
    Also, I miss all those debates with questions from the audience.  I would love to see a few of those for the GE, although I know I won't.

    I think the moral of this electoral campaign (none / 0) (#30)
    by lilburro on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:35:46 PM EST
    is that crazies in church is really an "everyone's got one" affair.

    Except for those of us (none / 0) (#33)
    by robrecht on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:48:53 PM EST
    who haven't darkened the doorway to a church since the year of the flood.

    Palin is vulnerable (none / 0) (#26)
    by nalo on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 06:47:46 PM EST
    POW McCain should be, he's reckless and hotheaded...but for branding reasons he's not.

    This is not about the Obama campaign, who are being disciplined correctly focusing on the economy on the campaign trail.

    This is about left wing bloggers vs. right wing radio.  This drives the mainstream narrative, which has been tilted outrageously right for too long. Might even give an opportunity for Obama to throw Daily Kos under the bus, which might be appreciated on this blog :)?

    Palin is just a distraction... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jamesjonson on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 07:39:28 PM EST
    Think about it...Ever since McCain picked her to be his VP, the WHOLE attention span has been leaked to her; while McCain plays the background hoping people will fall for it, just so he can come back around after people have forgotten about his stances.

    Right now, many of the world is caught up in this "Palin Hype", and much like the previous months, good ol' maverick is doing his usual disappearing act again..

    McCain is OFFICIALLY a 3rd bush term; probably WORSE than bush..America WILL NOT surivive another 4 years of failed policies, money being invested in a war on oil (hence the term O-Peration I-raqi L-iberation), homes being lost, the possibility of the US becoming a THIRD-World country, etc, etc..

    We need to speak up and let these republicans know that Americans are sick and tired of the lies, deceit and the smoke & mirrors games they've played for these eight years....

    Big Tent Democrat does that (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Sep 18, 2008 at 11:30:50 PM EST
    several times a day here. Hope you will read his posts.

    I'm a member of the NY board of the NJDC (none / 0) (#39)
    by nycvoter on Fri Sep 05, 2008 at 11:20:56 PM EST
    the reason the democratic party has been the home to most Jews, from orthodox to reform, in the percentages from 75%-85% at least has been because of helping the poor, environment, civil liberties, separation of church and state, no prayer in schools etc.  Israel has always had great bi-partisan support throughout congress and in the White House.  Whether the leaderships support from the White House has been more or less helpful through out differing administrations, since 1973 it has been fairly steadfast and not because of Jewish influence alone, but because it is the only true democracy in the Middle East.  Most Jews I know are very concerned about mixing church and state, especially when it comes to prayer in schools.  Many people don't realize how much of a minority we still are in this country and how most Americans have never met a Jewish person, so Jews tend to look out for minorities, altuisticly and for their own interest as well.