In an opinion piece published in The Morning Call today, Richard Kohn considers the difficulties many Jewish voters have with the candidacy of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential running mate of Senator John McCain.
There has been much said about both candidates courting the Jewish vote. The truth is, the Republicans are just talk in this area. If John McCain had any respect for the Jews in America, he wouldn’t have chosen Sarah Palin as a running mate.
The executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, Ira Forman, cited a ”cultural distance” between Palin and almost all American Jews. ”She’s totally out of step with the American Jewish community,” he said.
Palin’s social conservatism, her paper-thin record on Israel, and — perhaps most importantly — her cultural roots in evangelical Christianity may be a major turnoff to Jewish voters. Just a few weeks ago, Palin’s church, the Wasilla Bible Church, gave its pulpit over to David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus, a ministry that has drawn wide criticism from the organized Jewish community and the Anti-Defamation League.
As Gov. Palin sat unprotesting in her church, Brickner described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God’s ”judgment of unbelief” on Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity.