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March 8, 2015 3:14 pm

Democratic Congresswoman Dropped From Event After Bibi Walkout

avatar by Paul Miller

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Capitol Hill. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9) was slated to be honored by Keshet Sunday evening, March 8, 2015 with its Community Service Award. According to reliable sources close to the situation, the developmental disabilities charity asked Schakowsky earlier this week not to attend their annual Rainbow Banquet.

Rumors began circulating on Tuesday afternoon when Keshet’s Facebook page posted, “Due to unanticipated circumstances beyond Keshet’s control, the Congresswoman will not be able to attend this year’s banquet on Sunday, March 8th.” This social media statement was released approximately 90 minutes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completed his controversial address to a joint session of Congress.

One Keshet follower commented, “Does this have anything to do with backlash from her boycotting Netanyahu? Keshet has helped a lot of children, including my own. However, it was a terrible lapse in judgment to honor her in the first place.”

Schakowsky, who represents one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations, boycotted Netanyahu’s speech. In a press release, she criticized the invitation for Netanyahu to speak as “ill-advised” and a threat to “both the security of Israel and the historic bi-partisan support in the Congress.”

Schakowsky’s boycott decision was not well received by many in the pro-Israel community, including those who reside in her congressional district. The nine-term congresswoman has a solid pro-Israel voting record, but is often criticized for her “lockstep“ support for the Obama administration and her silence in response to comments made by the administration over the years that have been perceived as unsupportive of and offensive to the Jewish State.

When asked if the rumors were true that Keshet asked her not to attend their Sundaynight fundraiser, an organization board member, who asked not to be identified, told the Salomon Center, “It’s true. The concern is that an actual protest would take place right in the lobby to protest Jan Schakowsky. Ultimately the decision was made that this is a Keshet dinner and the focus needs to be about the kids of Keshet, not about the congresswoman.”

The board member continued, “Regardless of how you feel about her, positive or negative, it’s not about her and it never was intended to be about her. She has done good stuff for Keshet.  That said, it’s got to be about the kids.”

The source was very clear that this decision was not an indictment based on Schakowsky’s decision to boycott Netanyahu’s speech, but strictly a move to ensure the evening would remain about the children served by Keshet.

Said one supporter of the charity who asked only to be identified as Howard, “I planned to attend Sunday’s fundraiser because the organization is amazing and deserves our support. But I planned to walk out when Schakowsky would be called to the stage and hoped others would follow me.

I’m glad that everyone came to a decision that is best for Keshet and the kids.”

Keshet, CEO/Executive Director, Abbie Weisberg told the Salomon Center:

Over the year’s congresswoman Schakowsky has been a staunch supporter of Keshet and do to unanticipated circumstances beyond our control, the congresswoman is not able to attend this year’s banquet on Sunday. But we are grateful and she has pledged her ongoing support for the organization and the individuals it serves.

She would never want Keshet to be in a situation that created any negativity around our program. That’s not Jan Schakowsky. She wouldn’t come period. She loves Keshet.

Congresswoman Schakowsky’s communications director, Lee Whack offered “no comment.”

Full Disclosure: In 2010, the journalist, Mr. Miller, worked for a campaign that challenged Mrs. Schakowsky for the Illinois 9th congressional district. This article was originally published by Breitbart.

Correction: The author meant for the second paragraph to read “Rumors began circulating on Monday afternoon;” it originally read “Tuesday.” He regrets the error.

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  • Yale

    Another victim of Obama’s “divide-and-conquer” approach to governing. Democrats need to wake up and realize how seriously bad for the nation their leader is.

  • MartyNYC

    Netanyahu’s most complimentary remarks about Obama in his speech must have been all lies.
    Next time Obama has some foreign policy decision, it
    better be to Netanyahu’s liking or our congress persons who also think that it would be in our nation’s best interest are going to catch bloody hell from the Israeli firsters.

    • len

      hey marty-your sarcasm reeks,its a tool for people who are frustrated and arent able to put forth a viable sane counterpoint.Rather then discussing the issue you would rather demonize the messenger.Ill tell you now marty,i would rather stand with the “Israeli firsters” as you put it then the “Iranian firsters” any day.A strong and safe Israel will only enhance the power,prestige and influence of the good ole U.S.A.Sorry for having a different opinion than King Obama,but the last i heard we are living in a democracy and expressing those opinions are according to the Founding Fathers our God given right.Stop pandering to the Jew haters or are you just one of those jews who are terrified about what the Goyim will think.Thats what kept American Jews quiet during the Holocaust,lets not let it happen again.

  • J STREET Lame Head

  • noellsq

    It seems to be a good democrat you must just follow the party like a Zombie. This administration is the most secretive and anti unity administration that we have had. With control of a very immoral DOJ the POTUS does not have to follow the law

    • BH in Iowa

      Indeed. They just “made an example” of Sen Menendez.

  • David Polovin

    I have no doubt that the Congress member is a very fine person even though I admittedly know near nothing about her.
    Nevertheless her decision to boycott the PM was a monumental moral and judgmental lapse, and a failure to correctly prioritise the importance of the issues that faced her. That’s putting it at it as gently as I can muster.
    It is important for her to make amends by hastening to acknowledge her error at the first opportunity. If she will not do that, then her qualifications to represent her community should be reconsidered.
    There is no justification whatsoever for believing that the Obama administration is likely to solve the Iranian danger. Every indication suggests otherwise and all the signals are coming out wrong. That is the problem and when the leader of the free world presented the real options, the Congresswoman absented herself from the forum.

  • VictorMc

    Good !!

  • Stephen Kohn

    Rep. Schakowsky and her other J-Street affiliated colleagues who boycotted PM Netanyahu’s speech certainly deserve to be excluded from Jewish events. Their loyalty is no longer to the Jewish people.

    • Gwelda

      And yet the Jews will line up to vote for the Dummycrat in EVERY election.

  • Anonymous

    I am very glad that people and organizations are reacting to those who wanted to embarrassed Prime Minister Netanyahu. The very people who attempted to boycott the Prime Minister appear to be the same people who still currently support Jewish groups based in Israel as well as in the US, such as jstreet and other similar groups, who because they are opposing Bibi on his coming election, they tried the impossible to boycott Bibi’s address to Congress regarding nuclear Iran. Those same opponent groups recently blasted Rabbi S. Boteach for his advertisement on the New York Time in defense of the Prime Minister’s concern about nuclear weapons and in response to Susan Rice’s attack towards the Prime Minister when she said that Bibi’s address to Congress was “destructive and ripping the “fabric” of our two nation’s historic bond”. It is a real shame how deeply vicious these people were in trying to embarrass the Prime Minister, a man of honor, a leader of leaders, who has the courage to stand up for his nation and its people. God bless the Prime Minister, and God bless those who ferociously defend Israel. And God bless the Keshet organization for showing support for PM Netanyahu.

  • Good riddance to such phony “pro-Israel” supporters.
    With friends like Jan Schakowsky in Congress, Israel doesn’t need enemies.

  • len

    schakowsky chose to boycott netanyahu’s speech,hopefully she did so because she honestly felt that it was the right thing to do ,or she did it because she feared angering Obamaites,either way she gets a little taste of her own medicine.and hopefully when she is defeated in the next election it will be for a stance rather than a fear.this lady said on television straight out, a bad deal is better than no deal,i was dumbfounded when she said it so she said it again.this is not what we need in congress representing a jewish community or anybody in dont have to agree with netanyahu or his speech but as a member of congress its your duty to respect an ally and a head of state who has to face the existential threat to his country and people.

  • Ivan Gur-Arie

    One has to pay for political blunders. Lockstepping with OBama is such a political blunder deserving what has happened at Keshet.

  • Efram

    I hope she is voted out of office next year. Anyone who is genuflecting towards America’s foremost Jew hater and terrorist lover is putting party ahead of decency.

  • Mark

    Here comes the punishment of US congress members do not obey Israel, what a joke this country come to,

    • zadimel

      Don’t worry. The Jewish State will save you from the Iranian bad guys.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Jews are so pathetically divided and this Schakowsky deserves to be punished for her rudeness to Bibi.

  • art

    It is indeed a sad commentary that Jewish congresspeohave been so intimidated by Obama that they have surrendered their moral standards, and their legal obligations. We know that Obama was given notice by Boehner and failed to respond until AFTER the announcement was made.
    As a long term registered Democrat I have been driven away from the national party by Obama and his associates, Powers, Ayers malley, rice , rashid kalidi,chas.freeman, etc who ALL have a history of anti Israel politics.

  • David Makowsky

    I am the “One Keshet follower” referenced in the article. I also remember the author of the article, Paul Miller, as I also worked on Joel Pollak’s campaign against the Congresswowman (Although Joel used my picture during his campaign and still uses it, we had a falling out over the support Joel gave to George McGovern after his death). Paul was a major player and I was a small nobody.

    The problem with the Congresswoman was not her boycott of Netanyahu. In fact I notified Keshet that honoring her was a mistake months before Netanyahu’s speech became an issue.

    The problem with the Congresswoman is her receiving money from, and giving support to, Nazi backed (George Soros) J-Street. Her boycotting Netanyahu’s speech is just a small part of that.

  • Did you say Jan Schakowsky or Gertrude Stein? Is there a difference?

  • Avrumeleh

    It is about time that Jewish organizations started to react to politicians and others, Jewish or not, who take positions that are blithe about Israeli…and in the case of Iran, Jewish….security. If they want to follow the dictates of a President that leads their party, they, at very least do it quietly and without resort to throwing calumny at those who, undoubtedly, have Israel/Jewish security and safety at heart. Throwing their lot in with an American Administration that has done so much to place Israel in an unwarranted negative light is something that Jews should show disapproval of…more.

  • Brien the Enlightened One

    I hope this teaches her a lesson. Next time, LISTEN!

    • You are wrong. I hope this teaches those Jews a lesson in voting for no friend of Israel.