The Republican Jewish Coalition took a close look at the Obama campaign’s newly released list of 600+ rabbinic supporters and is calling on the campaign to sever its ties to one of them.
The RJC’s target is Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, a California Renewal rabbi who has endorsed the Palestinian BDS call and is a member of the advisory board and rabbinical council of the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace.
She was the only rabbi to speak at a controversial 2008 interfaith dialogue dinner in New York hosted for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, where she discussed the Holocaust and expressed support for Palestinian rights and for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.
In its press release, the RJC writes:
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today expressed profound outrage at the inclusion of radical rabbi Lynn Gottlieb on the official list released by the Obama campaign of “Rabbis for Obama.” Rabbi Gottlieb has a long and troubling history, which includes dining with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, being the first American rabbi to visit Tehran, and serving in an organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, which the Anti-Defamation League has called one of the “top ten anti-Israel groups.”
By promoting and showcasing Rabbi Gottlieb as one of Pres. Obama’s supporters, the Obama campaign lends legitimacy and credibility to a rabbi whose extreme views are well beyond the mainstream of the Jewish community and the mainstream of America.
According to RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks, there can be only two explanations for her inclusion in the list: 1) the Obama campaign failed to properly vet the rabbis on their official list, or 2) they did properly vet the rabbis and chose to ignore Rabbi Gottlieb’s radical views.
Either way, this speaks volumes about the Obama campaign’s judgment and the RJC calls on the Obama campaign to immediately remove her from any formal or official involvement in the campaign.
The RJC, before shrieking with outrageous outrage, should remember that they also selected as their "Jewish outreach director" a Rabbi with ties to the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta:
The Jewish outreach official for New York Republicans quit Wednesday, due to revelations of his ties to an anti-Zionist haredi group.
Yossi Gestetner, named director of Jewish Outreach for the New York Republican State Committee on June 12, quit Wednesday after The Jewish Channel published a detailed account of his PR work on behalf of True Torah Jews Against Zionism.
The investigative report showed Gestetner also advocated other controversial positions, including the custom among the haredi Orthodox to consult with a rabbinical authority before reporting child molestation to the police. Haaretz.
In the case of the "Rabbis for Obama" it is just a listing of a bunch of names on a website, no indication that any of these people are official spokespersons for the Obama campaign.
In the case of the Republicans choosing a Neturei Karta sympathizer as official liason to the Jewish community, that is much more of an embarrassment.