Jewish Journal

Sarah Palin and the Jews: In her own words *

by Brad A. Greenberg

September 12, 2008 | 6:54 pm

We still know very little about what Sarah Palin thinks of American Jews, and this post isn’t going to reveal any whoppers.

Her political views and religiosity led to immediate suspicion, which she responded to with an uninspiring visit to AIPAC. But this was followed by news of the Jews for Jesus speaker at her church last month, and then for her RNC speech she cribbed from right-wing nut job Westbrook Pegler.

Palin has been incredibly off limits, so, unlike Barack Obama, who was on the phone with more than a minyan in January, Palin hasn’t done the Jewish press interview yet. Not with me, not with JTA, not even with The New York Times. We have her ABC News interview, and now Jewish voters have this checklist of what Palin really has said about the Bridge to Nowhere, teaching Creationism in schools and banning books.

The National Jewish Democratic Council, which compiled the list, comprised of quotes resurrected in recent news articles, lets Palin off the hook though when it comes to Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul and Jews for Jesus. “To be objective, NJDC has no reason to believe that Palin shares the values of Jews for Jesus or the opinions of Buchanan or Paul when it comes to the subject of the Jewish community or Israel.” So, I guess we’ll have to wait for the Palin Q&A with JTA.

* Updated: Adding another confusing layer to Palin and the Jews, Mollie at GetReligion just sent me this story from the Jewish Press. “Republican vice-presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin sports an Israeli flag in her lapel and displays an Israel flag in her office window despite the tiny Jewish population of her state,” the conservative paper reported, and you can see the flag here.

Not sure what it means. Now, back to the NJDC. Their complete fact sheet is after the jump:

There is a great deal of information and rumors circulating throughout the Internet and the mainstream media concerning Governor Sarah Palin. The Jewish community deserves to know the facts. Is Senator John McCain’s pick for Vice President a reformer or a pork barrel spender? Is Palin a maverick or a right wing conservative? Is Palin an extremist or does she share our values?


Question: “Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?”
Palin: “Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now—while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.”
-  “Did Palin Really Fight The “Bridge To Nowhere”?” The New Republic, 8/29/08

“A new ad from John McCain’s presidential campaign contends his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” In fact, Palin was for the infamous bridge before she was against it.”
–  “Fact Check: Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere,” Associated Press, 9/8/08


“Healthy debate is so important and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both. And you know, I say this too as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject—creationism and evolution. It’s been a healthy foundation for me. But don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”
-  “Palin in Her Own Words,” The New Republic, 8/29/08


“Veteran leaders in the anti-abortion camp say they have never before seen the degree of enthusiasm that greeted Palin’s selection as John McCain’s Republican running mate. She opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest.”
- “Palin’s nomination adds fuel to abortion debate,” Associated Press, 9/9/08


“It’s true that Palin did raise the issue [of removing books from the library] with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla’s librarian… Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue…Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons’ story, telling the Chicago Tribune that “Sarah said to Mary Ellen, “What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?”… According to the Chicago Tribune, Palin did not list censorship as a reason for Emmons’ firing, but said she didn’t feel she had Emmons’ support.”
- “Sliming Palin,” FactCheck.org, 9/8/08


““A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location,” [Palin] said. “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.””
- “Palin Not Convinced on Global Warming,” The Washington Post, 8/29/08


Numerous observers correctly draw attention to Palin’s associations with former Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, her praise of anti-Israel Congressman Ron Paul, and her attendance at a Jews for Jesus speech in her church as indications that she supports their viewpoints. To be objective, NJDC has no reason to believe that Palin shares the values of Jews for Jesus or the opinions of Buchanan or Paul when it comes to the subject of the Jewish community or Israel.

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