A friend from New York called me today with a question I find hard to answer. He is Jewish, Orthodox and Republican. Should he or shouldn’t he attend the rally against Iran tomorrow, from which Sarah Palin was disinvited? He was there in Sep. 2007, along with the thousands of others who came to protest Ahmadinejad’s previous visit to the UN. He was planning to come again, but now is not sure if he should really go.
Staying home would that he–like Hillary Clinton–chose politics over fighting a dangerous Iran. And it would look terrible if a rally against the President of Iran was only attended by few participants. On the other hand, attending might make the organizers feel that their decision is acceptable to him–which it was not. I felt bad to send him away with no concrete advice, but I thought this should be a personal decision. As an Israeli observer–neither a Republican nor a Democrat–I’m also reluctant to give advice on a matter that is purely political.
And anyway, I came to the conclusion that the politicization of the fight against Iran–undesirable as it was–was probably unavoidable. Thus, what I think now is that the organizers’ real mistake was not disinviting Palin but inviting Clinton. If they had decided early on that the rally would not host politicians this year, the whole embarrassing affair would have been avoided. Apparently, they were giving Clinton credit that she doesn’t deserve, believing that she would be able to ignore the political pressures of the season in order to send a clear message. In that, they forgot that she is after all a Clinton.