Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sharing The Blame For The Rally Fiasco

Eric Trager puts the focus back on the organizers of the rally. True, the Democratic shenanigans have crippled the effectiveness of the rally--
But the organizations behind the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now deserve far greater condemnation–not only for giving in to the Obama-Biden campaign’s petty political demands, but for staging a rally that presents concerns regarding Iran as a strictly Jewish issue. Indeed, this rally is now the exclusive enterprise of Jewish groups–The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, UJC, UJA, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. Meanwhile, the fact that the only public figure speaking at the rally is an Israeli parliamentarian–Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik–compounds this issue.

There can be no doubt that Iran is a source of special concern for Jews. Ahmadinejad has made Holocaust denial more politically acceptable across the Muslim world than ever before; he has threatened Israel with destruction; and his regime has historically oppressed its Jewish community. Yet these issues are a mere subset of the concerns relevant to Iranian ascendancy, and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities has encouraged a diverse group of states–including the United States, European Union, and a number of key Arab states–to unite as a (admittedly, somewhat shaky) coalition against its ambitions.

Given this reality, how has the National Coalition to Stop Iran Now failed so miserably to assemble a diverse front for protesting Ahmadinejad this week? How could they fail to understand the extent to which excluding American political leaders from this demonstration would send the wrong message?
Not our greatest moment.

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