Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Recent bits and pieces about Sarah Palin

It's been a busy weekend for Sarah Palin. Her visit to India and speech were not really a sucess. Her shallow platitudes didn't go unnoticed.

An Indian website gently pokes fun at her speech:

On the perfidious Britishers

‘Friends: our two democracies understand this struggle for freedom. It’s the struggle of those who defiantly dumped tea in Boston Harbor to protest a British tea tax. And it’s the struggle of those who courageously marched to the seacoast near Don-dee [sic] to make their own salt in defiance of a British salt tax! This hunger for ‘Freedom & Opportunity’ is proof that what we call the “American Dream” is not just “American.” It is the universal dream of people everywhere! I believe it’s created within us!’

Misuses the word ‘enormity’

‘There, in my home state of Alaska, we’re so proud of nature’s beauty & our towering mountains, but certainly here relatively near the spectacular Himalayas can I appreciate an even greater sense of nature’s enormity! One of the mountains near my home (I see it everyday from my kitchen window!) is called “Pioneer Peak”’

Kapil Komireddi
was more direct:

Palin was out of her depth. It’s appalling enough that a contender for the American presidency, the putative leader of a popular anti-government movement, cannot conjure up a compelling vision for her country. But the speech also confirmed Palin’s illiteracy in foreign affairs. Talking about energy – the centerpiece, apparently, of her “vision” for America — Palin had no words to assuage Indian anxieties about nuclear energy in the wake of the tragedy at Fukushima in Japan. Energy-starved India is likely to be one of the world’s biggest markets for American nuclear technology, but Palin was content with empty platitudes: there was repeated praise of free-trade, condemnations of government spending, and even a mention of the moose her daughters had recently spotted outside their house in Alaska.

Opinions on Sarah Palin's visit to Israel are divided. David Frum, a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, thinks she will lose support and votes. His viewpoint is purely political. On the other hand, Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, believes the trip will help her, but he focuses on her biblical motives for supporting Israel.

David Frum:

Sarah Palin is visiting Israel, a move which normally helps GOP candidates. But as my latest CNN column points out, by ignoring the Republican Jewish Coalition she may be writing off an opportunity to broaden her support.

The RJC local chapters are active in almost every state. Jewish Republicans may seem a minority of a minority, but the local chapters contain disproportionate numbers of local Republican activists — the kind of people who make a difference in a state primary.

Over the months since November 2008, the RJC had repeatedly offered to organize an Israel tour for Palin. They have repeatedly invited Palin to speak at their meetings. As a member of the RJC board, I know that Palin’s team engaged in extended conversations about these invitations. Yet they were abruptly shelved. The RJC organization learned that its invitation would not be accepted the same way everybody else did: by reading the newspaper.

Why? We cannot know for certain. But we do know this: Some members of the RJC board — including me, and one or two others — have publicly said critical things about Palin.

The seeming result: Palin decided the RJC was dead to her.

Morton Klein, in this article: Sarah Palin Woes Evangelical Vote with Pro-Israel Stance, Says Zionist Group (woes?)

Morton Klein, the national president of Zionist Organization of America, said Palin’s expression of support for the Jewish state while visiting a holy site will definitely help her politically.

“This will only increase her votes,” Klein told The Christian Post.

Palin’s trip to the Jewish state is speculated to be an effort to energize her base.

Her comments about Israel’s effort to restore the tunnels along the wall are in line with the views of Christian Zionists, who defend Israel’s occupation of the West Bank on biblical grounds.

Christian Zionists favor Israel because they say God has named Jews as His chosen people. These conservatives and others have also criticized President Barack Obama for not supporting Israel enough despite Israel being the U.S.’s strongest ally in the Middle East.

ZOA’s Klein insisted, “Evangelicals are more supportive of Israel because they believe in the Bible.”

Sarah Palin, he said, is definitely a pro-Israel evangelical. Klein, who said he knows Palin personally, said she had a picture of an Israeli flag in her office while governor of Alaska.

Another item making the news is Sarah Palin's aborted visit to Bethlehem:

Daily Telegraph

Sarah Palin has emerged at the centre of a potentially embarrassing mystery when she abruptly aborted a visit to Bethlehem just yards from an Israeli checkpoint guarding the entrance to the city of Christ's birth.

The Guardian

Sarah Palin apparently had second thoughts about crossing an Israeli checkpoint on Monday to visit Bethlehem during a three-day visit to Jerusalem.

The former governor of Alaska pulled up to the checkpoint run by the Israeli border police to the south of Jerusalem in a white people carrier, with her husband, Todd, her assistant and Israeli guides.

None of the occupants left the car nor did they speak to the police officers at the checkpoint, according to photographers at the scene. They then turned around and drove away. A spokesman for the Israeli police said there was no incident at the checkpoint and a spokesman for the Israeli army said that Palin's group had not co-ordinated a visit to the occupied Palestinian territory.

The right wing Israeli Prime Minister appears to be very keen on Sarah Palin:

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her husband Todd concluded their brief first visit to Israel on Monday by meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at his official residence in Jerusalem.

Ahead of the meeting, Netanyahu’s office checked with Palin to see whether they could expand it to a full reception for her with other politicians and aides, but she politely declined.

J Street officials, who are in Israel for a meeting of the Knesset Diaspora Affairs Committee, complained on Monday that Netanyahu had refused a request to meet with them but had chosen to meet with Palin.

The left-wing American lobby’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, said he had wanted to meet with Netanyahu “to introduce ourselves and explain how we can work together as allies.”

Ben-Ami wrote in a letter that “while the Prime Minister doesn’t have time to meet a movement that now represents over 170,000 pro- Israel, pro-peace supporters, he has time to host Sarah Palin for dinner.”

Yesterday was World Down Syndrome Day. Did you see Sarah Palin's enthusiastic tweet and encouraging the Facebook note about it? *crickets*

She had her phone with her in Israel...