The Palm Beach County Democratic Party on Tuesday let loose its new weapon, something I call the “Jewish Grandmothers Group,” designed to stifle free speech. At the Ross Jewish Community Center in Boynton Beach, Mark Alan Siegel, the chairman of the local party, joined Rabbi Barry Silver to square off in a debate with Christian-Zionist Tom Trento and me. The topic: Should Jews vote for Obama or Romney? In what should come as no surprise by now, the informational event was closed down early because of threats of disorder.
An early “uh-oh” sign popped up in our heads when, just one hour before the doors were opened, the JCC informed us that all videotaping and cameras were banned from the room. Just the day before, a JCC official carefully planned where the best locations for the cameras would be. Why was the recording of the event canceled? We found out during the meeting. Obviously, with the disruptions so well-planned, the Democrats wanted no record of this behavior to reach the public. They succeeded. An early band of about 50 elderly women, brandishing professionally designed “Women Will Remember in November” signs, occupied the front of the auditorium. Some had Obama stickers glued to their foreheads. The table occupied by Tom and me had a contingent of these seniors in the standing-room-only area right by us. During the event, until it was closed down because of their disruptive antics, they sauntered over to us, uttering denunciations and comments.
During the debate, this raucous, rude, disrespectful, well-trained squad heckled, jeered and disrupted Tom and me so often that I announced to the time keeper that my speaking time had to be extended in order to compensate for the disorder in the room. The final straw came when a woman, adorned with an Obama sticker, was hauled away from the microphone while shouting indecipherable epithets. Armed security personnel roamed the hall to threaten anyone with an exposed camera that they were to be expelled for having them in view.
Just recall the Democrats’ attempts to prevent their members from hearing the issues as explained by Republicans. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Miami, or the threat of Republicans being arrested atB’nai Torah in Boca Raton. Then there was the debate between Democrats and Republicans that wascanceled by the sponsor, Hadassah, apparently at Wasserman Schultz’s request.
It’s clear that the Democratic Party in South Florida is fearful of its loyal members hearing anything that contradicts the tales told them by party leaders. “Keep them ignorant” is the mantra of the left. The media is already complicit with this group. Taking away open, clean, clear dialogue that leads to one making his/her own decisions on such matters as Israel, abortion, taxation or even education is as dangerous to Democrats as kryptonite is to Superman. “Keep free speech at arm’s length from the sheep” is their motto.
These incidents are reminiscent of the 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch that catapulted Hitler into the limelight. These incidents should send warning bells off in the heads of those who fear the loss of free speech and the dialogue that is expected and welcomed in a democracy such as ours. If the behavior of the “Jewish Grandmothers Group” is an indication that the vast, liberal Jewish community is in the hands of those who would turn this nation into another Nazi Germany, communist Russia, North Korea or Cuba, then all of us, Jews and non-Jews alike, and our descendants will suffer the inevitable fate of tyrannical rule by the few.
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