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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stop Iran Now Rally Becomes Anti-Organizer, Anti-Obama Rally

The Stop Iran Now being held outside the United Nations made major headlines last week when Clinton canceled because Palin was attending, then Jewish groups were pressured into disinviting others including Palin. Today we see protesters protested against Obama.

WCBSTV's report on the "Stop Iran Now" rally headlines their article with "Anti-Iran Rally Turns Into Anti-Obama Rally," when protesters not only protested Iranian President Ahmadinejad, but also protested the event's organizers for rescinding Sarah Palin's invitation after Hillary Clinton canceled her appearance, as well as protested Barack Obama.


A number of American Jewish Groups planned a rally to be held outside the United Nations to protest Iranian President Ahmadinejad, and invited members from each political party. Clinton accepted the invite then canceled when told Palin would attend.

Then CBS2 reported on Democrats threatening the Jewish groups until they rescinded a number of politicians invitation, claiming that with Palin attending, it made it a partisan gathering which would endanger the groups' tax exemption status.

CBS 2 also got a Democratic politician, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, on record as saying at the time, "It's an absolute shame that this has happened. To threaten organizations … to threaten the Conference of Presidents that if you don't withdraw the invitation to Gov. Palin we're going to look into your tax exempt status … that's McCarthyism."


Today's report by WCBSTV says protesters, much to the anger of the organizers, were not only protesting Iran and Ahmadinejad, but were also protesting the event organizers, with signs reading "We Want Sarah. Shame On The Rally Organizer." The protests didn't stop with the event organizers either, people also protested Barack Obama with signs saying "Jews Against Obama & Ahmadinejad."

Janice Shorenstein, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council, was upset because the rally was always intended to be a non-partisan group protest against the presence of Ahmadinejad, but the situation rapidly changed changed.

Shorenstein asserts "I am upset by the sign because this is a non-political event. We are here today to cry out against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not political. American elections are not part of this event."

Congressman Anthony Wiener, D-NY., disagreed with Shorenstein and stated "I think this is a classic political event in the best sense of the word. Politicians from all corners come here to speak out against Iran. I think it would have been fine for Sarah to speak. We just needed someone of equal stature from the Obama campaign to speak."

The Democratic Congressman wasn't the only one that disagreed with Shorenstein and the organizers decision to disinvite Palin just because Clinton canceled.

One protester by the name of Howard Webber from Brooklyn saying, "As important an event as this is, you needed a unity of Democrats and Republicans to show Ahmadinejad that we're not going to accept a nuclear Iran."

Buddy Macy of Little Fells, New Jersey agreed with Webber, saying ""I'm so disappointed, upset. She would have brought 10,000-20,000 more supporters of Israel. People who were curious were stopped because of partisan action," referring to Palin's invitation being rescinded.

The question is what are the political repercussions not to have politicians speak at the rally?

"Republicans benefitted more than the Democrats did," political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said. "Why? Sarah Palin wanted to be there, but it looks like she was purposely told not to and rejected. It gives her standing, particularly among those people who are thinking about voting Republican anyway."

Anger was evident at the rally with no one appearing to be happy at the turn of events and no matter who political consultants, pundits and the media think benefited politically from those turn of events, others seem to think this was one area where politics could have been set aside and all affiliations could have stood together as one against Ahmadinejad.