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Kucinich withdraws as Palm Beach County Democratic keynoter amid uproar over his Israel stance

by George Bennett | November 6th, 2009



With some local Democratic elected officials in open revolt over his record on Israel, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has withdrawn as keynote speaker for next week’s Palm Beach County Democratic Party fund-raising dinner.

He’s the second Democratic keynoter to be scratched this week. The party dumped Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday because local activists were upset by her refusal to commit to blocking a Republican filibuster of health care overhaul legislation.

After Kucinich was announced as the replacement speaker, state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, threatened a boycott and state Sen. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, County Commissioner Burt Aaronson and state Rep. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, voiced disapproval today.

Kucinich has a long history of criticizing the actions of the Israeli government, voting against congressional resolutions in support of Israel and opposing sanctions against the anti-Israel government of Iran.

His critics have “falsely characterized” those stances as being anti-Israel, Kucinich said this afternoon in an e-mail to Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel. While defending his position, Kucinich said he didn’t want the controversy to hurt the local party’s money-raising efforts.

Read his complete statement to Siegel after the jump….

E-mail from U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich to Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel:

Dear Mr. Chairman,

When I accepted your very kind invitation as a last-minute speaker at the Palm Beach Democratic event, I did so because I thought it would be helpful to the local party. I have since learned that some of your officials are falsely characterizing me as “anti-Israel” and threatening to boycott the dinner, costing the party needed resources, so I humbly withdraw.

I have always taken a conciliatory approach toward matters in the Middle East, as recently at a few days ago when I gave the following speech in Congress:

I have always defended Israel’s right to survive and its right to defend itself. I believe in peace and have worked towards it my entire life.

I regret your officials never spoke to me because perhaps they would understand why despite taking a more independent voting path in Congress, I have still maintained close friendships and working relationships with members of Congress who are indentified as Israel’s strongest supporters. They know that when I speak out on matters in the Middle East, I come from an understanding of the importance of addressing the security and economic concern of all parties. We achieve understanding and peaceful relationships through communication,

You have my best wishes for a successful dinner and I am hopeful that anyone who had planned to attend the event will do so and continue to support the Palm Beach Democratic Party.


Dennis J Kucinich

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29 Responses to “Kucinich withdraws as Palm Beach County Democratic keynoter amid uproar over his Israel stance”

  1. suze Says:

    I’m not a democrat so I wouldn’t be interested in him anyhow but if his stance is against Israel he won’t get very far. Of course Obama told everyone he would stand with Israel and now he doesn’t seem very pro-israel either.

  2. Turk Ferguson Says:

    my god… dont dare say anything to offend the jews!!! so sick of that crap.. what country are we living in?

    maybe the jewish people would be happier back in the holy land and they wouldnt have to be worried about being the subjects of racism here in america..

    what a joke

  3. Jeff Says:

    I have such a hard time as a Democratic activist trying not to be seen as anti-Semitic just because I don’t agree with Israeli policy. The Jews are just as brainwashed about their religion as the Christian Right are about theirs. The only difference is that they channel that towards different policies. Christians take God, Gays, and Guns as their litmus test. Jews take Israel as theirs. And don’t you dare question either of them or they will take you down on their respective sides. What a wonderful free country we live in.

  4. hedlykarok Says:

    Anti-semitism is a 2-way street…arabs and jews are both semites. The problem is Israel can do whatever they want without too much reprisal from the west because they’re all afraid of that accusation. Until Israel stops acting like a fascist state and treating the palestinians like they were treated 60 years ago, they will never have peace.

  5. Mark Says:

    Yeah all of a sudden Sachs is a jew…bullshit..more political bs. Deutch and Rader maybe but Aaronson and Sachs…(1 fake jew and just married a rich nasty one)

    You are all sad

  6. mrbig Says:

    I am sure Wexler will be there!

  7. Lesley12 Says:

    Maria taking orders from another man…if I only had a brain

  8. WEX HEX Says:

    Q: How many Palestinians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    A: None. They just sit in the dark and blame Israel and the U.S.

  9. democrat Says:

    I am going to see Al Gore at Mizner. Deutch’s aide, the YD and FAU talked about it yesterday. Deutch is smart but the rest have to go…to jail. This is why the younger generation will give up on both parties. Deutch smart, Rader dumb, Aaronson criminal, Sachs more dumb

  10. hedlykarok Says:

    Nice racist joke wex hex, you anti-semite

  11. Marnie Says:

    Politics is always the same follow the money…. where’s the money? one guess?

    What the Democratic party does not seem to realize is that not all of us Democrats are pro-Israel or the current Israeli policy.

    Though only a one of many ethnic and religious groups tortured and murdered during the Holocaust they would like you to believe that they are the only martyrs. They were not, there were Catholics and Christians, Gypsies and others not Ayrian in background.

    One would think that the Israelies would have learned that one should treat others as they “would wish to be treated” NOT as their people “had been” treated.

    It’s unfortunate that peace could be a long time coming.

    It should be noted that not all Israelies and Jewish people support the policy of Israel and this number continues to grow especially at the grass roots and among young people, not only Jewish but all faiths…

    As a Palm Beach County Democrat I apologize for the committees ignorant behavior and commend him for looking to what was best for the Party. We need more Democrats like Representative Kucinich. Maybe we ought to think about that in the next upcoming election – who do we really want to represent us in Palm Beach County? we need to stop being lemmings…

  12. froggyfrank Says:

    Oh, let’s all do just what Israel want us to do no matter what when we get bombed to smithereens forever by a people who committ to war by more than decree by CriminalBush. Those who will readily die for their God are to be feared but we need not make it worse by bowing down to almighty Israel, for God’s sake.

  13. scott gendell Says:

    As Golda Meier once said “if Arabs put down their weapons, there would be no more Arab-Israeli wars. If Israeli’s put down their weapons, there be no more Jews.”
    Travel to Sderot and observe the indoor bomshell/playground where Jewish children play to avoid rockets from Gaza and you may begin to understand the daily stress and trauma Israeli’s face.
    The end of violence is the beginning of peace and until then the State of israel will do what any other nation threatened daily by terror would do and that entails waging war on the source. The fact that Hamas and Hezbollah fighters hide behind civlians while hoping that Israeli’s return fire and create martyrs and victims used for public relations is regretable and leads me to anoher Meier quote, “peace will come when Arab mothers love their children more than they hate us.”

  14. Diplomat Says:

    Elected officials are boycotting the democratic party event because a liberal democrat was going to speak. Deutch said no, because a possible fellow congressman disagrees with him. Not very collegial or diplomatic of him. This does not bode well for a future congressman. This is an example of exactly the wrong temperament for congress. He better stay in the Florida senate and learn more about being a statesman…he sure isn’t one yet! Rader ? well he definitely needs time to mature. I may disagree with Kucinich but he was smart enough to bow out gracefully. Siegal be careful who you invite, you got a tough crowd here.

  15. Leha Says:

    It is not about the party, it is about the policy. Good that they stood up to a Democrat that does not understand no matter who you are you have the right to defend yourself.

    For Siegal and those who put him in power it is your fault. This is not a democratic or republican is the right thing. Imagine if a few republicans would have disagreed with their own party or an elected official of the same name…we would all be in a different place.

    Take away a party D or R we are all affected by the policies. It is too damn bad that most people don’t get it.

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  17. Barbicane Says:

    This is totally ridiculous and a shameful state of affairs for Palm Beach County Democrats. Aaronson calls pick of Kucinich “an absolute horror?” The absolute horror is Aaronson! Or should I say Arrogant Son…..? Dennis Kucinich is one of the four or five best members of Congress alive today. I am Jewish and extremely defensive of Israel. Dennis K may not agree with me about that, but he is so correct on just about everything, I can overlook it. All three local pols who objected are playing to the south county condo crowd, an odious, reprehensible bunch. In plain words, those old geezers stink to high heaven and they will be the ruination of our party.

  18. Barbicane Says:

    What we need is an earthquake and the condos west of Delray Beach and Boca Raton disappear into the earth forever.

  19. Lincoln Hunter Says:

    Congressman Kucinich is not anti-Israel. He is pro-United States.

  20. Harry Houdini Says:

    Interesting to note that those remarks made about Jews, the people who sent them spelled the word Jews without a capital “J”.Would they spell Christian, as in Christian people as christian? Whether they are correct in their responses is NOT the issue with me, the fact that they are disrespectful and “perhaps” hateful is….You can change your rhetoric but you can’t hide your HATE. Admit it at least you cowards.

  21. Harry Houdini Says:

    Mamie, I didn’t realize those boys in the Panhandle were Jewish..Thats Ray Sansom, not Sansom not the biblical one!

    Please just say what you really feel and get it out..Don’t be a COWARD..We all know what you want to really say..SO SAY IT>>>

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  23. Robert Maurer Says:

    Still looks like the best guy for the job of speaker at the Palm Beach Truman-Kennedy Day Dinner is that great Democrat Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania!

    It can be the best of times (Democrats) or the worst of times (Republicans), it emboldens the nuts – kick Senator Landrieu out, kick Kucinich out, rename the dinner from those low life politically incorrect Presidents Jefferson and Jackson. And, the Republicans are no better at tolerance – go after Governor Chris, “melt” Senator Snowe!

    It’s the public’s business, not the politicians or the ideologues. Let all speak to the public issues!

  24. WPB Dem Says:

    The local Democratic party welcomes you if you’re a socialist, union member, liberal Jew, gay, anti-military, and unquestioningly support Israel. I’m none of these and have decided to change parties or register with no party affiliation. I’m sick of Burt Aaronson, Andre Fladell and their cronies.

  25. Debra Says:

    Aaronson, Fladell and the rest of the pack have to go. Look at what happened with Wexler and we have not seen anything yet. Klein is done so he pushes the wife of his law practice. This is so fun to see them all fall. FYI I am jewish and Democrat, yet they don’t represent me. Time for new blood and good for those who don’t like Dennis. He is antiIsrael but so is the group above because Jews are suppose lead and not follow. Sorry Deutch, Maria, (not a jew) Rader, Aaronson.

  26. Liber Says:

    So that explains it! Maria Sachs is dumber than dirt and it puzzled me because I thought she was Jewish Now I know! She’s a dumbass shiksa. What a relief.

  27. Plastic Ono Says:

    The only brains she has were beat into her, literally, by her husband Peter.

    It’s documented.

  28. Left the Dems in the Dust Says:

    This is why I left the Democratic Party and joined a party that reflects truly progressive values. The Democratic Party is pathetic, backwards and out of touch. You should rename yourselves the Regressive Party. What’s even funnier is that Wexler proclaims Deutch as his ‘progressive’ replacement. Then Deutch denounces the only progressive in the Democratic Party. What a joke.

  29. JustMeee Says:

    His stance isn’t against Israel, Suze. Read again. That’s the kind of brainless knee-jerk reaction that keeps real progress from every happening.

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