Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Palin & the Jews

Now that the presidential campaign is going negative, with personal attacks on character streaming forth from Sarah Palin and John McCain, and responses in kind coming forth from the Democrats, it's time to take stock.

First, we have Sarah Silverman's absolutely hilarious video on behalf of thegreatschlep.com, an effort to convince Jewish grandchildren to bribe bubbes and zaides in Florida to vote for Obama. There is also Jackie Mason's unfunny response. There is also a viral video out on YouTube quoting a bunch of Israeli leftists (insignificant figures like Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, a one-hit-wonder Labor PM candidate from the 1990s who has virtually disappeared from Israeli politics after his ignoble defeat) who opine that Obama will be a fine choice for Israel. Palin and McCain have gone to great lengths in the first two debates to champion the cause of Israel -- and while Senator Joe Biden certainly trumped Palin with pro-Israel rhetoric, Obama wasn't nearly as forceful when he had the chance. Thus, the fight for the Jewish vote in Florida is in full swing.

In a Monday New York Times column, Bill Kristol asked Sarah Palin whether it might be fair game to remind people of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's controversial pastor. Wrote Kristol:

She didn’t hesitate: “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.” 
So let's spend a minute looking into Palin's church-going. We could start with the video from 2005 at her church from visiting Kenyan preacher Thomas Muthee a "blessing," in which he beseeches God to protect her, as she stands at the front of the church with palms raised towards heaven, from "witchcraft." We also now have more video of Muthee (check beginning the 1:20 time mark) at the same service (so we know Palin was there), condemning "Israelite" bankers and businessmen. "It's high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations," opined the Kenyan, before he later blessed Sarah.
About 3 weeks before she was chosen as VP candidate, Palin’s church gave its pulpit over to a figure viewed with deep hostility by many Jewish organizations: David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus. At that service, Brickner described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. "Judgment is very real," said Brickner, "and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."
Palin was in church that day.
So if we hear more of Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ, I suggest we hear bit more about Palin's Wasilla Assembly of God church.

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