A fundamental rule of crisis public relations is not exposing a bad issue to more people via proactive media outreach. For that reason, I found it odd that the American Jewish Committee (AJC) issued a national press release regarding a Boca Raton, Florida protest against Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN and an Obama cabinet member, about a recent speech she made at the B’nai Torah Congregation. I am sure, like many others, I hadn’t heard about the initial uproar in Boca Raton, but after reading the press release, I was curious and sought out further information.
The event, which AJC co-sponsored had numerous Jews placed on a blacklist and banned from the event for supposedly being anti-Obama, and about two dozen pro-Israel people who managed to get in to hear the speech were escorted out by police during her speech for waving little Israeli flags while she was speaking. Worthy of a national AJC press release (and prominent placement on AJC homepage) for an item which received limited local media coverage? Surprising, especially as many in the Jewish community I am sure would question the wisdom of hosting Obama proxies at a time like this.
The AJC press release touting them as a “non-partisan organization” conveniently left out the fact that Rice has been identified in a Huffington Post article as the ”pro-Israel courter in chief” of the American Jewish community for the Obama Administration. The event was hosted by a major Obama booster, the senior rabbi of the synagogue, Rabbi David Steinhardt, who is known for active outreach to Florida’s Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Interesting event for a “non-partisan” organization.
This synagogue hasn’t hosted the very pro-Israel (Republican) Congressman Allen West – and I’d love to see AJC co-host that Republican event at the synagogue. More would buy the “non-partisan” rap if the Jewish establishment actually hosted Republicans and Democrats.
But, enough with the partisanship. As a Zionist living in New York, I’m so excited for this year’s Israel Day Parade on Sunday, June 3rd. My mother, Penny Waga walked with the youth movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Betar, in the 1st parade ever, and I am excited watching my kids prepare in school for this year’s parade. It is the world’s largest gathering in celebration of Israel and just a beautiful show of support for Israel – which this year, with all the attention and issues facing Israel, it is vitally important to attend.