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JINSA says it wasn’t consulted on conference’s rally decision

Calling the decision “inappropriate and foolhardy,” a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations is condemning the decision to disinvite Sarah Palin from Monday’s an anti-Iran rally sponsored by the conference and other Jewish groups.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs says it was not consulted before the decision was made and wants to know who is “responsible” for the withdrawal of the speaking invitation to the Republican vice presidential nominee.

In a strongly worded letter to Conference of Presidents executive vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein, JINSA executive director Tom Neumann said those who pushed to have Palin disinvited were imposing “their narrow partisan agenda on a very important undertaking.”

“I call for those who are responsible for this decision to step forward and speak in their own name and not hide behind the skirts of the Conference of Presidents. In disgracing themselves, they disgrace us all,” wrote Neumann.

The invitations to Palin and other elected officials to speak at the rally were withdrawn on Thursday afternoon, two days after Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) pulled out of the event claiming the Palin invitation made the rally partisan. Here’s the full letter:

Dear Malcolm:

When I heard the disturbing news that the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations had allegedly chosen to disinvite vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, I was in a state of disbelief. I cannot and do not believe that you, the consummate professional, could have made such an inappropriate and foolhardy decision.

My first instinct was that, as a member of the Conference of Presidents, JINSA would disassociate itself from the rally to be held on Monday. Nothing, however, could be more important on the American agenda than preventing Ahmadinejad’s Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Therefore, we must remain united in opposition.

So while we cannot withdraw from the rally, we want to be very clear that we not only dissent from the decision to disinvite Governor Palin, but we condemn in no uncertain terms those within the Conference of Presidents who chose to impose their narrow partisan agenda on a very important undertaking.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, as a member organization, was not consulted on the decision, as I’m sure was the case with many other members. I call for those who are responsible for this decision to step forward and speak in their own name and not hide behind the skirts of the Conference of Presidents. In disgracing themselves they disgrace us all.

Tom Neumann
Executive Director
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs

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