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Sarah Palin Visits Israel During Purim – Coincidenc​e or Destiny?

Posted by Dr. Fay on March 20, 2011

___________________________________________________________________

After her presidential-sounding address at the India Today Conclave, Governor Palin and her husband Todd flew to Israel for their first visit, arriving during the celebration of the Jewish Purim holiday.   It is interesting that the timing of her India visit allowed her this visit to Israel at this particular time, and this author wonders if it was indeed providential.  Some Americans think Sarah Palin may be an modernday American Esther, called to lead at a time such as this.  (See here and here and here.)

Gil Hoffman and Herb Keinon at the Jerusalem Post (h/tp JewsforSarah.com) wrote about Governor Palin’s anticipated visit:

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will come to Israel for the first time this weekend following a speech in India on Saturday, Palin said in a statement on Thursday.

In their two-day visit, Palin and her husband Todd intend to pack in tours of Jerusalem’s Old City and Nazareth, as well as meetings with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the chairman of World Likud, MK Danny Danon, who is close to Republican officials. She also may visit Masada, the Western Wall tunnels, and Christian sites in Bethlehem.

I’m thankful to be able to travel to Israel on my way back to the US,” Palin said. “As the world confronts sweeping changes and new realities, I look forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the key issues facing his country, our ally Israel.”

Palin had been planning a longer visit for more than a year, and she still is. Sources with knowledge of her plans called the current trip “an appetizer” for a more official visit later in the year.

A likely candidate for the Republican nomination for president, Palin’s visit will follow in the footsteps of other expected candidates like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour and Rudolph Giuliani, who all met with Netanyahu during their respective visits.

Palin’s meeting with Netanyahu is expected to take place Monday night. An official in Netanyahu’s office said that Netanyahu understands well the importance of meeting US politicians, and makes every effort to meet them, regardless of party affiliation.

Palin kept an Israeli flag in her office when she was governor of Alaska. She has been a frequent critic of US President Barack Obama’s policies on Israel.

“The Jewish settlements should be expanded upon because the population will continue to grow,” she said in a recent interview. “The Obama administration does not have the right to tell them not to grow.”

In a Facebook post last year, Palin wrote that “as Israel makes concessions (and is still criticized by the Obama Administration), Arab leaders are just sitting back waiting for the White House to further pressure Israel. The Obama Administration needs to open its eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit from this manufactured Israeli controversy.”

For background on the festival of Purim, which celebrates the delivery of  the Jewish population in ancient Persia from annihilation through the heroic actions of the young Jewish queen, who risked her own life to save those of her people, see here and here.  Governor Palin has herself considered the biblical Queen Esther as a role model.  

In an op-ed at the New York Sun, Benyamin Korn wrote:

When Governor Sarah Palin spoke to 16,000 Christian evangelical women in Louisville, Kentucky on April 16, guess which book she mentioned as the one she reads to her daughter at bedtime?

Try the biblical Book of Esther.

That’s right — Sarah Palin, mocked and pilloried by Jewish liberals as a danger to world Jewry because of her Christian beliefs, reads to her 8 year-old from a book that most Jews should probably spend a little more time with.

Governor Palin’s Kentucky speech, to a group known as the Women of Joy, is being claimed by her critics as proof that she is too Christian. But a careful look at the speech reveals, in fact, how close to Judaism and the Jewish people she is.

[…]

Here’s the key sentence: “And then, you know, hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation, and poking an ally like Israel in the eye, it’s mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions [in] recent days, but politics is truly a topic for another day.”

What? Poking Israel in the eye? What’s that doing in the middle of that remark? And how was it omitted from the Washington Post account?

The Israel remark is there because to Sarah Palin, the well being of Israel and the Jewish people is an integral part of her worldview. Israel is not just another cold run-of-the-mill foreign policy matter, like trade with Mexico or aid to Sri Lanka. What happens to Israel matters to her as a Christian. Threats to America’s moral fiber and threats to Israel’s national security are all part of the same challenge that she wants Americans to address.

Governor Palin takes her Bible seriously. Not in the sense of someone who wants to impose her beliefs on anyone else, but simply as someone who believes that both the Hebrew Bible an the New Testament provide moral guideposts for our lives. She reads the Book of Esther to Piper because she wants her daughters to emulate Jewish history’s most famous heroine.

In her speech to the Women of Joy, Palin included a few quotes from the New Testament. But Jewish scripture figured much more prominently. She quoted twice from Psalms, as well from Proverbs and Malachi. She spoke to Piper about how Esther, an orphan, overcame steep odds and difficulties in order to save the Jewish people. And she took issue with President Obama’s policy of “poking our ally Israel in the eye.”

Fear-mongers with political agendas want to drive a wedge between Governor Palin and American Jewry. Sometimes they do it with quotations that leave out key sentences. Sometimes they do it with distorted depictions of her religious beliefs.

Jews have nothing to fear from Sarah’s Palin religion. But we have plenty to fear from those political leaders who not only have no interest in Esther or Proverbs, or Sarah, but who think that poking Israel in the eye makes for good foreign policy.

Governor Palin’s friendship to Israel has been noted on numerous occasions. 

In September, 2008, CBNNews.com wrote:

According to Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is a staunch ally of the Jewish people.

Greenberg, who lived in Alaska for the past 17 years, said Palin’s support for Israel has never wavered.

“Based on my personal acquaintance with Governor Palin, I can confidently say that if she is elected, the Jewish people and the State of Israel will have a great friend and admirer in the White House,” Greenberg told the Israeli daily Haaretz.

A few years ago, during her tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Greenberg said Palin had a good relationship with the city’s Jewish community.

When they dedicated a new synagogue, she attended the ceremony, though the congregation hadn’t thought to invite her.

As governor, she passed a resolution in May during Israel’s 60th Anniversary celebration, affirming Alaska’s support of the Jewish state.

Carolyn Glick at The Jerusalem Post wrote in December 2010:

On Saturday, former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin gave the keynote address at the Tea Party Movement convention in Nashville, Tennessee. As she did in the presidential campaign, Palin electrified her audience in Nashville by credibly channeling the populist impulses of American voters. In her signature line she asked, “So how’s that hopey changey stuff working out for ya?”

Palin excoriated Obama on his handling of US foreign policy. Among other things, she noted that a year into his quest to appease dictators, America’s international standing is in shambles. “Israel, a friend and a critical ally, now questions the strength of our support,” she added.

Palin bellowed that on issues of foreign policy, there is no room for self-delusion. As she put it, “National security, that’s the one place where you’ve got to call it like it is.” And then, “We need a foreign policy that distinguishes America’s friends from her enemies and recognizes the true nature of the threats that we face.”

If her address wasn’t enough to convince Americans – and specifically American Jews – that Palin thinks supporting Israel and standing up to Iran are the keys to US national security, then there was her interview on Fox News Sunday. Asked how Obama can win reelection in 2012, Palin responded, “Say he decided to declare war on Iran or decided really to come out and do whatever he could to support Israel, which I would like him to do.”

And if that still isn’t enough, there is her lapel pin. The politician who leads the populist opposition to Obama decided to make her most important speech since the 2008 election wearing a pin featuring the US flag and the Israeli flag.

Palin, who is considering a run in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries, is using her public platforms to reassemble the coalition of security hawks, social conservatives and blue collar workers that propelled Ronald Reagan to the White House in 1980. Her support for Israel serves her in building support among both security hawks and social conservatives.

Unlike Obama’s empty protestations of support for Israel, Palin’s support is obviously heartfelt and therefore will not diminish while Obama remains in office. And as Palin becomes stronger, her ability to influence the US debate in a manner that constrains Obama’s freedom to intimidate Israel into allowing Iran to become a nuclear power will rise.

In an interview with The Jewish Press in May 2010, Benyamin Korn, who had recently founded Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin and JewsforSarah.com, responded to questions:

The Jewish Press: What about Sarah Palin inspired you to found this organization? 

Korn: Sarah Palin is a tremendous – perhaps once in a generation – political figure. Despite what her detractors and enemies keep repeating endlessly, she is brilliant, charismatic, on top of the issues, and a leader fully capable of taking her place on the world stage. She is an authentic American and the kind of popular and populist politician who can reach the hearts and minds of the average American voter.

Why, though, start a specifically Jewish organization in support of Sarah Palin? 

We wanted to break down barriers to the serious consideration of her ideas within the Jewish community. There is intellectual snobbery reagrading Palin since she’s not Princeton- or Harvard-educated. Some people are also worried about her reputed association with right-wing figures from beyond the pale. These kinds of issues have been raised in order to try alienating Jewish voters from her. We aim to change that.

Also, many Jewish voters are concerned about Obama’s treatment of Israel. One of the key factors in the upcoming elections will be swing and independent voters, and Jews are very heavily swing voters and independent voters. In 1980, 60 percent of Jimmy Carter’s [Jewish supporters from 1976] abandoned him to vote for the most conservative candidate of our era, Ronald Reagan.

So we want to get the message out in the Jewish community that it is time to take the gavel back from [Senate Majority Leader] Harry [Reid] and [House Speaker] Nancy [Pelosi], as Sarah Palin put it recently in a speech in Chicago, and time to ensure that the present occupant of the White House is a one-term president.

Finally, it is time that the Orthodox community be given a voice in national politics by being able to show that we not only support [Palin’s political agenda], but we especially connect with her family-values agenda. That part of her social conservatism that may make other Jews skittish is a kind of religious and family outlook on life that we, as Orthodox Jews, share.

[…]

If Palin is truly brilliant, as you say, why is it that so many think of her as mediocre, at best? 

It’s politically motivated. Look, I spent my whole life among highly-educated Jews, and I don’t hear anyone speaking more truth or sense than this woman. Now, there are people who have more academic backgrounds than she does. She’s not Harvard Law School. But you don’t need to be to run a country. You could be Harvard Law School and not understand who this country’s enemies are, or you could be the governor of the great state of Alaska and understand who this country’s enemies are. Who would you rather have leading the country?

[…]

Back to Palin: How can you be sure that she won’t modify her views once in office? President George W. Bush, for example, promised to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before he was elected. Once in office, though, he changed his mind.  

That’s a good question, and you can never say for sure how a politician will respond to the pressures once they achieve a very high office. But what you can say is that Sarah Palin’s heart and soul are wrapped up in love of Israel and the Jewish people.

Earlier this month, Palin went to the Time 100 gala of the most influential people with her husband and three of her kids. It was like a frum family. This is the glittery of the world at Lincoln Center, and Palin shows up with her husband and three kids. You got to love it. But on top of that, she also wore a pin of the American and Israeli flags. Why did she need to do that? The answer, of course, is she did not. But this woman clearly loves Israel, and that’s what’s important.

For more examples, see SPIB’s Israel page.

Governor Palin herself has expressed her support for Israel on many occasions.  Governor Palin expressed her support for Israel during the October 2008 Vice Presidential debate  and in television interviews, including her September 2008 interview with Charles Gibson, her September 2008 interview with Katie Couric, her November 2009 interview with Barbara Walters.

In her FOX News debut on “The O’Reilly Factor,”  Governor Palin made the following statement.  (Read the transcript here, and view the video here.)

PALIN: Because he’s got relationships with these other countries also. We have to show the support for each one of our allies. With Israel, we cannot get into Israel, for instance, and say we’re going to tell you whether the Jewish community can expand or not expand within your borders. Instead, what we need to do is tell Israel that we will — we’ll go to bat for them.

O’REILLY: Well, what does that mean though? Look, say Israel, say Netanyahu says — calls you up and says, I’m bombing them, I’m bombing Iran, they’re too close, I’m not going to let it happen. What do you say? You say go ahead, Netanyahu, go bomb them? What do you say?

PALIN: Oh my gosh, any kind of war strike is the absolute last option.

Governor Palin  frequently sends Facebook greetings to the Jewish community for Jewish religious holidays.  Her Facebook posts also include these statements:

March 16, 2010:

In the midst of all this embracing of enemies, where does the Obama Administration choose to escalate a minor incident into a major diplomatic confrontation? With Iran, Cuba, Sudan, North Korea or Burma? No. With our treasured ally, Israel.

[…]

Now, however, we see the Obama Administration has decided to escalate, make unilateral demands of Israel, and threaten the very foundation of the US-Israel relationship. This is quickly leading to the worst crisis in US-Israel relations in decades, and yet this did not have to happen. More importantly, it needs to stop before it spirals out of control. Vice President Biden should rein in the overheated Obama Administration rhetoric and chill the political spin masters’ fire as they visit the Sunday media shows to criticize Israel.

[…]
Once again, the Obama Administration is missing the boat on a very, very important issue. They need to go back to the basics and acknowledge Palestinian leaders have not progressed any peace process since President Obama was elected. As Israel makes concessions (and is still criticized by the Obama Administration), Arab leaders are just sitting back waiting for the White House to further pressure Israel. The Obama Administration needs to open its eyes and recognize that it is only Iran and her terrorist allies that benefit from this manufactured Israeli controversy. Vice President Biden was actually right when he said last week, before the construction announcement, that “one necessary precondition for progress is that the rest of the world knows…there is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to security.” Right now, thanks to the Obama Administration, there is a chasm. It’s time for President Obama to push the reset button on our relations with our ally Israel.

June 1, 2010:

The media, as usual, seems to be reporting only one side of the Israeli Flotilla incident. Don’t trust the mainstream media to give you both sides of a story fairly… you must seek out fair reporting to ensure you have all the information.

As far too many in the media, and in various governments, rush to condemn Israel, we must put the recent events off Israel’s coast into the right perspective. This “relief” convoy was not about humanitarian aid, as the liberal mainstream media keeps reporting. The whole operation was designed to provoke Israel, not to provide supplies to Palestinians held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Anyone who sees the video of Israeli commandos being attacked as they land on that ship knows the people aboard were vicious thugs, not “peace activists.” The media insults our intelligence with their outright mischaracterization of who these enemies are.

Israel delivers thousands of tons of humanitarian supplies every week to Gaza. These ships could have offloaded their cargoes at a nearby Israeli port if they really wanted to help the people of Gaza. Instead, they chose to incite confrontation and violence. Israel has a right to prevent arms shipments to Gaza that will be used to target innocent Israelis, so they were legitimately checking the cargo on the flotilla.

[…]

We can only hope the Obama Administration does not join the anti-Israel chorus in the aftermath of this staged confrontation. Please, Mr. President, we need to let Israelis know we stand with them in their fight against terrorists and those who arm and support them. America and her ally, Israel, stand by waiting for your response.

In September 2008, The New York Sun reported the following statement by Governor Palin:

President Peres of Israel yesterday met for the first time with Governor Palin and with Senator McCain, who called the veteran Israeli statesman “my old friend.” The warm handshake and exchange of broad smiles occurred during an international gathering known as the Clinton Global Initiative, hosted by President Clinton. “I wanted to meet you for many years,” Ms. Palin told Mr. Peres, according to an aide to the president. “The only flag at my office is an Israeli flag,” she was quoted as saying, “and I want you to know and I want Israelis to know that I am a friend.”

Knowing all of this, it is easy to realize how dear to Governor Palin’s heart her first visit to Israel must be.  On behalf of all our authors at SPIB, I want to wish Governor Palin and her husband Todd as well as all of the Jewish community a happy and blessed Purim celebration.

UPDATE: 

According to an article by Reuters at Haaertz, Governor Palin landed in Israel today and started her tour of Israel at the Western Wall Tunnels.  She was accompanied by Likud MK Danny Danon.  Tomorrow night, she and Todd will have dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife.  (h/tp Benjamin Korn)

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One Response to “Sarah Palin Visits Israel During Purim – Coincidenc​e or Destiny?”

  1. Maring Swart said

    Governor Palin is making the trio of a lifetime. Now I see they even complain about her Bible reading. I am thankful she reads the Word of God. Maybe the wall of the USA will escape the writing on the wall as described in the book of DANIEL 5:23-31, Mene Mene Tekel Parsin (UPHARSIN)

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