Jewish voters wary of Palin

Even as Joseph Biden was courting Florida’s Jewish voters in Deerfield Beach Tuesday, dropping Yiddishisms like an old pro, it was the McCain campaign that was grabbing the Chosen People’s attention. When Alaska HDTV PodShow host Scott Slone took Palin on an urban hike in February, he captured a telling political detail — the footage ...

592845_080903_palin5.jpg
592845_080903_palin5.jpg

Even as Joseph Biden was courting Florida's Jewish voters in Deerfield Beach Tuesday, dropping Yiddishisms like an old pro, it was the McCain campaign that was grabbing the Chosen People's attention.

Even as Joseph Biden was courting Florida’s Jewish voters in Deerfield Beach Tuesday, dropping Yiddishisms like an old pro, it was the McCain campaign that was grabbing the Chosen People’s attention.

When Alaska HDTV PodShow host Scott Slone took Palin on an urban hike in February, he captured a telling political detail — the footage showed that the governor keeps a small Israeli flag by her office window. The flag, naturally, reveals Palin to be a loyal supporter of the Jewish state, despite the fact that she has little experience with Middle East affairs — she’s never visited the region nor has said anything of note on it.

Matt Brooks of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which e-mailed the clip to its list Monday, voiced his enthusiasm:

I think it is extremely telling,” he said. “[It] tells her she has Israel in her heart.”

While Jewish members of the GOP are using the flag sighting to rally around the vice presidential candidate, others are stewing over news of Palin’s alleged support of Pat Buchanan (she wore a Buchanan button when he toured through Alaska in 1999) and a sermon delivered by David Brickner, founder of Jews for Jesus, at Palin’s church.

In remarks that began “Well, Shalom!” Brickner observed:

The conflict that is spilled out throughout the Middle East, really which is all about Jerusalem, is an ongoing reflection of the fact that there is judgment […] Israel has not had the greatest track record when it comes to following after God.”

Michael Goldfarb, a spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign, was quick to make it clear that although Palin was in attendance, she “did not know [Brickner] would be speaking, and she does not share the views [he] expressed. She and her family would not have been sitting in the pews of the church if those remarks were remotely typical.”

The Jewish community generally welcomes evangelical Christians’ ardent support of Israel, but embracing Jews for Jesus? That’s another story. The Anti-Defamation League believes that the San Francisco-based organization “targets Jews for conversion with subterfuge and deception.”

As Politico‘s Ben Smith points out, a Palestinian flag would have incited a far more venomous reaction from the Jewish community. Still, they’ll be watching her closely tonight and in the days ahead.

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