Thousands attended Monday’s anti-Iran rally in New York City, and while the protesters had all the Israeli flags and comparisons between the Iranian government and Nazi Germany that one might expect of such an event, they had to do it all without two of the meeting’s more high profile speakers.
Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was a relatively late invitee, and after her participation was announced Senator Hillary Clinton, who reportedly was booked months in advance, canceled her appearance last week. Shortly after, the organizers disinvited Governor Palin, claiming to fear for their tax-exempt status if they didn’t have “equal representation of candidates” at the rally.
But the disinvitation did not prevent the McCain campaign from releasing the speech Governor Palin intended to give to the public. In the speech, she was to declare Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a threat to the entire world and accused his government of seeking nuclear weapons. She called for additional sanctions against the Iranian government and called for President Ahmadinejad to be “held accountable for inciting genocide” under international law.
But she didn’t stop there, citing Iran as a new reason to continue the war in Iraq, claiming “if we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran’s nuclear ambitions will be bolstered.” She also accused the Iranian President of dreaming “of being an agent in a ‘Final Solution’ – the elimination of the Jewish people.”
President Ahmadinejad has many times harshly criticized the Israeli government, and has often predicted its impending collapse. Yet last week, defending comments made in August by Iranian Vice President Mashal, Ahmadinejad insisted that he has no hostility toward the Israeli people, but rather the “Zionist regime.”