Miami’s Temple Israel said it canceled tonight’s appearance by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) due to security concerns, but the congresswoman – chair of the Democratic National Committee– called it “internal politics” after learning that a leading GOP donor quit the synagogue because he would not be allowed to give a Republican response.
Stanley Tate, a well-known philanthropist and prominent Republican, resigned from the temple after he learned Wasserman Schultz would be talking about Israel following Friday evening services and that he wouldn’t get an opportunity for rebuttal, according to the Miami Herald.
The temple’s president, Ben Kuehne, a Miami attorney, said the event was canceled because of security concerns (SEE KUEHNE’S LETTER BELOW).
Wasserman Schultz called it an unusual situation, due in part to the temple’s “internal politics.”
“I believe strongly that in a democracy people should be able to hear from and interact with their elected officials, which is why I gladly accepted Temple Israel’s invitation to speak as I have previously to many organizations and religious institutions throughout South Florida,” she said. “It is unfortunate that some would allow politics to stand in the way of citizens’ ability to interact with their representative.”
Tate, 85, is co-chair of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Miami-Dade County. He also has a national role in the GOP presidential candidate’s campaign.
“She’s the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee,” he said. “The topic is the U.S.-Israel relationship. There cannot be any conversation on that topic, none, unless it has to do with the politics.”