Friday, September 19, 2008

Three Women and Iran

2008 has to be the year of the woman.

First of all I want to congratulate Tzipi Livni for winning her party’s primary election in Israel. She is now head of her party – Kadima. This makes her the heir apparent to be the Prime Minister of Israel. Olmert who has resigned is now in a caretaker mode. To become the next Prime Minster Livni will need to form a ruling coalition with some of the other political parties.

We know what it will take for her to get the religious parties to support her. That’s a relatively easy thing to accomplish. But I wonder how she will win over some of the other parties? Be that as it may, I congratulate her and wish her well.

I’m not quite sure what her positions are on matters that are important to me and to Klal Yisroel but I am willing to give her a chance. I assume that her attitude on matters dealing with Israel’s security and the peace process are similar to Olmert’s. The advantage she will have over him is that she will not be plagued by corruption scandals. I believe that - unlike her predecessor - she has popular support among Israeli citizens too. We’ll see.

Another milestone for women is Hillary Clinton’s phenomenal showing in the Democratic primaries. Had it not been for the ‘Obama phenomenon’ she would have been a shoe-in as her party’s Presidential nominee. But she deserves a lot of credit for getting as far as she did.

And last but certainly not least, there is Sarah Palin.

Some of the luster has been removed because of the constant microscopic examination by political operatives of everything she ever said or did. They and their willing accomplices in the media have succeeded in putting the most negative spin possible on all of it.

But her star has not fallen too far. In fact she remains about as popular with the masses as she was when she was thrust onto the national scene by the lackluster John McCain. If he wins the Presidency, it will be because of her.

Obama must be second guessing himself now for not choosing Hillary Clinton as his running mate. Had he done so - it would have been ‘Sarah Who?’ McCain would have picked someone else and not have been where he is today in the polls – statistically tied with Obama. Plain has energized the McCain Campaign beyond anyone’s wildest expectations with her charm and wit. And she will probably continue to do so, much to the chagrin of the Obama campaign who until she was chosen probably felt that the campaign would be a cake-walk into the White House.

Three women. Three remarkable achievements.

What they have in common , besides their remarkable achievements, is that they all have the same attitude about Iran. And it’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He was invited to speak at the UN again this year. All agree that he is a pariah on the world. They all know that his goals are the same as the most militant and radical Islamist: to annihilate the Jewish State, and ultimately to take over the world for Islam. All agree that a nuclear Iran is a mortal danger to all its neighbors, starting with Israel.

There is a rally against Ahmadinejad scheduled on September 22nd by - among other Jewish groups – The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Both Palin and Clinton were invited to speak. Both accepted. It was supposed to be a non partisan event with prominent members of both major political parties scheduled to address the people at the rally. But When Mrs. Clinton found out that Mrs. Palin was going to be there she withdrew. She was outraged that she was scheduled to appear on the same program with the Alaska governor.

I can understand her frustration and anger. But her decision to withdraw is wrong. There was to be no political rhetoric. It was suppose to be a bi-partisan focus on an issue upon which all agree. As far as I know they were not even scheduled to be there at the exact same time. But Mrs. Clinton still couldn’t handle it.

I don’t know what her problem is. Nobody expected her to endorse the Vice presidential nominee of the rival party. All she had to do is speak about the common attitudes about Ahmadinejad. But apparently she is either embarrassed or angry that this… little know-nothing upstart(!) …Sarah Palin is upstaging her now and is in the position that Mrs. Clinton should have been in.

But - she is a human being and I can understand her emotions. What I don’t understand is the decision by the rally organizers to dis-invite Mrs. Palin. They claim they did so because they did not want to politicize the rally with all this controversy and instead keep it focused on Iran. Fair enough. But they aren’t the ones that politicized it. Mrs. Clinton did. They should have kept the invitation open to Mrs Clinton - or invite someone of similar stature – like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to speak in her place - and let Mrs. Palin speak as scheduled.

That’s really too bad. I am disappointed at all the organizers for making this decision. Dis-inviting prominent members of the American political system lessens the impact of such a rally and that is exactly the wrong message for it to send.