There is a battle of ideas going on in South Florida in the Presidential campaign trying to win the Jewish vote in this swing state. Problem is that it appears to be disrupted at every turn by Democrat operatives and Jewish community allies with the shield of deniability. Democrat National Chairman and Florida US House Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been the flash point for such incidents. In mid May we highlighted in an Iconoclast post, the ejection of Jewish Republican protesters at an appearance of US UN Ambassador Susan Rice at a Boca Raton synagogue. We noted:
The event was sponsored by the ADL, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Community Relations Council of South Palm Beach County. Dr. Rice’s speech at Bnai Torah was disrupted by a few dozen Jewish activists who rose en masse waving Israeli flags and were escorted from the auditorium and ejected from the synagogue property. They were protesting the Obama Administration policies towards Israel, especially demands for Israel to rein in its settlement development program in Judea and Samaria.
We noted that the protesters left quietly and what happened to the group’s organizer, Alan Bergstein, a former New York School system principal and retiree in this excerpt from a BizPac report:
Missing from the group was the protest’s organizer, Alan Bergstein, a strong pro-Israel, anti-Obama activist, lecturer and writer. Bergstein said he arrived early and was greeted by event organizers, who locked the door and would not allow him access. Bergstein said he was told to leave and was then escorted out by law enforcement officers.
Bergstein said he is concerned that he and other Jewish activists who stand up to the administration will see more censorship like Thursday’s removal if Obama stays in office. The former New Yorker said is certain that he is on a watch list and is outraged at how he was treated for conducting a peaceful protest.
We mention Bergstein because he and The United West colleague, Tom Trento were involved with a debate last night at the Boynton Beach Jewish Community Center on the issue of “Should Jews vote for Obama or Romney”? Bergstein and Trento, a Christian –Zionist, were engaged in a repeat of an earlier debate that had occurred in May with Mark Alan Siegel, the head of the Palm Beach County Democratic Committee and Rabbi Barry Silver, both Democrats, although Silver is not so sanguine about Obama (he is not on Rabbis for Obama List).
On May 15, 2012, the Controversial Issues Series held the first debate in this year’s election series. The question debated then was: “Is President Obama Good or Bad for Israel?”
Tonight’s question is a slightly broader one: “Should Jews Vote for Obama or Romney?”
The same quartet from May is back for tonight’s rematch. In the blue corner, representing the pro-Obama vote is Mark Alan Siegel, chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party, and Rabbi Barry Silver. In the red corner, speaking for the pro-Romney vote will be Alan Bergstein, a transplanted Brooklynite, currently a South Florida pro-Israel activist and Tom Trento, president of The United West. The United West describes itself as a counter-jihad organization. It is adamantly supportive of Israel, which Trento describes as America’s beacon of light in the Middle East. Siegel, however, described Trento and Bergstein as anti-Islamic extremists.
In the earlier debate, Trento seized on Siegel’s statement, that “there is more to this election than merely Israel.” To which Trento responded: “no, there isn’t, there’s one issue – it’s Israel. It isn’t abortion, it isn’t healthcare, and it’s Israel.”
[ . . ]
Siegel especially focused on “the Democratic party being more representative of the Jewish belief in communal responsibilities, such as for education, than is the Republican Party,” which he said “focuses on individual responsibility, in other words, everybody for himself.”
In contrast to Siegel, who is a party line supporter of President Obama, Rabbi Silver is less enthusiastic. Silver told The Jewish Press that the president “speaks well, but what he does doesn’t match up with the rhetoric.” The Republican challenger, however, fares even worse. In Silver’s estimation, “Romney doesn’t even say the right things, and unlike Obama’s baby steps in the right direction, Romney is taking huge leaps in the wrong direction.”
Marcus noted that Rabbi Silver is not your average progressive:
“Israel and the US and the rest of the western world should declare war on terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and also Ahmadinejad,” Silver explains.
“How does the world expect Israel to achieve peace with those terrorists?” asked Silver. “Just as during World War II we didn’t try to find a way to live with the Nazis, we defeated them militarily, and then we found friends with whom we could make peace.” According to Silver, “the same has to happen with the Islamic fundamentalists.”
But intelligent discourse in the public square did not occur. It was balagan (chaos) and denial of free speech by an aggressive band of 60 Bubbes (grandmothers) for Obama who showed up to lambast Bergstein and Trento and shut down the closing statements that even upset Rabbi Silver.
An early "uh-oh" sign popped up in our heads when, just one hour before the doors were opened, the JCC informed us that all videotaping and cameras were banned from the room. Just the day before, a JCC official carefully planned where the best locations for the cameras would be. Why was the recording of the event canceled? We found out during the meeting. Obviously, with the disruptions so well-planned, the Democrats wanted no record of this behavior to reach the public. They succeeded. An early band of about 50 elderly women, brandishing professionally designed "Women Will Remember in November" signs, occupied the front of the auditorium. Some had Obama stickers glued to their foreheads. The table occupied by Tom and me had a contingent of these seniors in the standing-room-only area right by us. During the event, until it was closed down because of their disruptive antics, they sauntered over to us, uttering denunciations and comments.
During the debate, this raucous, rude, disrespectful, well-trained squad heckled, jeered and disrupted Tom and me so often that I announced to the time keeper that my speaking time had to be extended in order to compensate for the disorder in the room. The final straw came when a woman, adorned with an Obama sticker, was hauled away from the microphone while shouting indecipherable epithets. Armed security personnel roamed the hall to threaten anyone with a camera that they would be expelled for having them in view.
Trento sketched in more details:
There were over 300 people and about an additional 100 were turned away as the room was SRO. The two top directors of the JCC gave me a complete contradictory “explanation” about why we were NOT allowed to Stream or to just videotape. They told me that the rental contract did not allow videotaping. I said OK; let me see the contract as I’m the one paying the fee for use of the facility. They told me that the original contract was signed by Rabbi Silver, so they would not let me see it. When Silver arrived, and I requested to see the contract, so that I could see the prohibition on videotaping, the executive director told me that there is no written contract but that it was a “policy” of the JCC and if I didn’t like it, I could leave. And it went badly downhill from there. They actually made us stop at 9pm and not finish the debate when we needed about 16 minutes more to finish a 4 minute close for each debater!
I don’t think I have even seen an audience of old Jewish ladies that acted like “animals” like this one. It was beyond belief.
Trento indicated that he is preparing a video commentary with the title; “Palm Beach JCC shuts down free speech of The United West.”
I asked another attendee, Roger Homefield, host of “The Joe Citizen Show” on WLJV in South Florida what the debate was like. He responded with these comments:
Although opinions differ, from my perspective from standing in the back of the room, was that the majority of support was for the Trento/Bergstein team. Years ago, conservative Jews dare not open their mouths or risk being outcasts of the condo!
I was surprised at the rhetoric used by the Rabbi’s team...using sweeping, stereotypical rhetoric as premises to support their argument why Jews should vote for Obama! They were stuck in the old saw of Democrats are for the people and Republicans are for the rich ...simply stated as fact. Typically, the Rabbi would say something insulting (that he considers general fact) such as “How can we vote for a party that always puts up rich people to run”.....to which there would be groans & murmurs about Kerry & Kennedy....to which the Rabbi would chastise the crowd for rudeness. This cycle of him insulting conservatives in the audience, and then berating them if they showed any pain.
So there we have it. Jewish Democrat operatives are engaged in a tit for tat campaign to limit free speech in the public square, again. The shameless behavior of those Bubbes for Obama engaged in bullying tactics is the latest incident. It does not surprise many of us that affiliates of Jewish Federations are denying free speech. How do we know? Remember the 2008 Obama Campaign The Great Schlep episode with comedian, singer, actress Sarah Silverman asking Bubbes and zaydies (grandfathers) not to vote for McCain-Palin. Well, Ms. Silverman is doing it again. Perhaps, last night’s episode in Boynton Beach with these aggressive Bubbes for Obama is the latest example.
Tags: VN, Poe, Annabel Lee, Annabel Leigh, cross my South Palm Beach Counteee with Rabbi Silver, Sarah Silverman and Gypsy Rose Lee, "The same quartet from May is back for tonight’s rematch," The Alexandria Quartet, The Raj Quartet, Durrell, John Derbyshire, Ho, Poe, blow the man down, Irving The Razor, Mack The Knife, Die Moritat von Mackie Messer, Kurt Weil, "...there’s one issue – it’s Israel." Occam The Razor, blowing bibulous and lascivious Bubbes and sowing and harvesting wild and whorey oats while getting out the votes and promissory notes from deep pockets and throats, Owen Semen, the Quartet flip-flops for head and tail, I should have been a pair of Grandfather claws
24 Aug 2012 Norman Berdichevsky
The Diaspora Jewish critics of Israel and their anachronistic support of the Democrat Party prove that Far-Left liberal views is an inherited disease but as we well know not an incurable one.
Those who so easily see Israel’s flaws (both real and imagined) can only consider that Israel, like America is a “privileged” society, enjoying wealth amidst a world of misery, and are deaf, dumb and blind to the present crisis and the imminent threat of a nuclear armed Iran.
Why should American Liberal Jews renounce their previous worship of the Hollywood Celebrity Cult of “cool”, proclaimed in dozens of Woody Allen movies?
This fitting idol of the Jewish Cultural Left (there is a statue in his honor in the Spanish city of Oviedo) granted an interview to the Spanish newspaper, Vanguardia, on May 17 in which he stated “I am pleased with Obama. I think he’s brilliant” The Republican Party should get out of his way and stop trying to hurt him. It would be good…..if he could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.” This from the man who is a major critic of Israel which he has never visited, made a career out of ridiculing Jewish tradition, mocked his parents and changed his name, and married his former wife’s adopted daughter, all in all not quite as disgusting as Democratic representative Anthony Wiener’s record.
Some Jews in the Diaspora whose parents and grandparents rejoiced at the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and regarded it mystically as partial compensation for the Holocaust, have been psychologically intimidated by the constant anti-Israel line of the media and of the torrent of bloody confrontations picturing enraged Muslim mobs ready for constant mayhem to avenge what they regard as the worst injustice in human history (i.e. the creation of the Jewish State rather than the failure to establish an Arab Palestinian state).
A considerable number of American Jews who opposed the Vietnam War became alienated from America’s role in the world. Many of them and their children grew estranged from the Israel their grandparents had hoped for in the sentimental image of old radicals transplanted from Europe who were delighted with the impoverished Jewish society in Palestine based on the egalitarian kibbutz and socialism but the powerful, prosperous, dynamic and successful capitalistic Israeli society, a world leader in sophisticated advanced technologies and a close ally of the United States embodied a double disappointment for them.
The anti-Israel mantra they hear on all sides from the political Left and their fellow “progressives” has become a substitute for historical truth. They are the organizers and members of J-Street, describing itself on the internet as ….“Mainstream American Jews and other supporters of Israel who, informed by their progressive and Jewish values, believe that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential to Israel’s survival as the national home of the Jewish people and as a vibrant democracy.”
The Jewish martyr complex of J-Street is drawn primarily from the deeply felt need to imitate the ultra-Orthodox in their search for perfection and as proof of their superior role as a “Light unto the Gentiles.” It is the reverse of the Muslim one that seeks death as a vindication of beliefs that Islam must subdue and dominate all non-Muslims. This is what lead the inane Jewish Mayor, Michael Bloomberg of New York, to support the building of a Muslim "community center/mosque" near ground zero of the Twin Towers in Manhattan or Job Cohen, Amsterdam’s Jewish mayor, (his first name could not be more apt), to dismiss a need for Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands to learn Dutch and make serious efforts to integrate into the host society.
Their views have become grotesque and only invite utter contempt from the enemies of Western civilization as well as sworn anti-Semites. J-Street’s leading figures delight in proclaiming the very large Jewish majority that voted for Obama. This alone is what drives the Jewish grandmothers resorting to invective and shouting matches in synagogues in wealthy Jewish enclaves in South. They are deluded with the claim (largely true) that support for Obama is strongest among so called “intellectuals” (particularly among Ivy League graduates including many Jews, Hollywood celebrities, so called journalists, young single women, Hispanics, Muslims, Blacks and the impoverished welfare dependent poor), all of which reinforces their allegiance to the liberal “cause” while ignoring the other side of the coin that this support rules out just about everyone else.
The grandmothers continue to be victimized by their voodoo-like belief that “education”, academic degrees and Obama’s polished rhetoric (read from clue cards) make up his woeful lack of ignorance on the international stage –evidenced by his reference to an “Austrian language” remark.
A majority of Jewish voters are either unconcerned with the increasingly low moral image of the Party’s politicians and candidates and party hacks (John Edwards, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel, Elliot Spitzer, Richard Blumenthal, Anthony Wiener, et. al.). Collectively these six represent the worst in American politics. The defection of the man many Jews were formerly so proud of, Senator Joe Lieberman (when he was nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the party), has apparently not bothered them or caused them to rethink.
Both Lieberman and former Democratic governor/senator of Georgia, Zell Miller told the party faithful the same message when they supported George Bush and John McCain - the Democratic Party is a national party no longer! For many Jews, still in a time warp of the 1930s, the message is only slowly beginning to penetrate.