BEN GRABER SAYS U.S. REP. WEXLER "AN EMBARRASSMENT TO JEWS"

Sun-Sentinel.com
http://weblogs.sun-se ntinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2008/09/ben_ graber_says_us_rep_wexler.html
Sept 3 2008
FL

Former state representative and Broward county commissioner Ben
Graber is blasting U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, as an
"embarrassment to Jews."

Graber , son of Holocaust survivors, is challenging Wexler in
congressional District 19, and is running as an independent candidate.

He took issue with Wexler for dissing Sen. John McCain's vice
presidential pick, Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska. According
to Graber: "Wexler immediately condemned her as a supporter of a
Nazi sympathizer because she wore a Pat Buchanan button ... when he
visited her town."

Graber said Wexler's "behavior" is "not only embarrassing to the
Jews, but also dangerous. It is apparent Wexler's decision-making
process is flawed. His inappropriate political use of Jewish issues
could promote anti-Semitic backlashes against American Jews. Wexler
falsely claims to speak for the Jewish community and he has a history
of using anti-Semitism in elections. It was used successfully when
he ran for the Florida Senate against Don Childers. Now he wants to
use it to frighten Jews into believing Sarah Palin is a threat."

Here's how McCain's campaign summarized the fracas:

Wexler, badly mangling his facts, accused Governor Palin of supporting
Pat Buchanan in the 2000 Alaska primary. Based on this he asserted
that Governor Palin had "aligned herself with a leading anti-Israel
voice in American politics," while finding space to invoke the name
of Adolph Hitler and the phrase "Nazi sympathizer." Only it wasn't
true--Palin was an official on the Forbes campaign in 2000. Wexler
never apologized or retracted his statement.

Click here to read the full McCain version of the events.

I'll post the full text of Graber's attack on "the jump." Meanwhile,
Wexler spokesman Eric Johnson said Wexler stands by his comments
about Palin and her button-wearing for Buchanan, a man whom Wexler
has major issues with.

"He's called Washington Israeli-occupied territory," Johnson said. Even
if Palin later joined the Forbes campaign, Johnson said she hasn't
distanced herself from Buchanan.

"Would she wear a David Duke button if he came to town?" Johnson
asked, referring to the former Louisiana state representative and
white nationalist.

Johnson called Graber's "embarrassment to Jews" comment "just dumb."

"Robert is listed in the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in the
country. He's a leader in the Jewish community," Johnson said.

Graber's "editorial" is below:

"U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler could not restrain himself when Sen. John
McCain announced that a woman, Sarah Palin, would be his vice
presidential nominee. Wexler immediately condemned her as a supporter
of a Nazi sympathizer because she wore a Pat Buchanan button in 1996
when he visited her town. This, apparently, is untrue; she supported
Steve Forbes and has the support of Alaskan Jews, known as the
"Frozen Chosen."

Wexler previously embarrassed Jews when he was the only Jewish member
of the foreign relations committee to not recognize the Armenian
Genocide last year.

Wexler continues to shoot from the hip by making rash decisions about
important events and then apologizing for these decisions. He voted for
the Iraq war, he moved to Maryland and he supported only counting half
of Florida's votes in the Democratic primary. And according to several
online news sources including Politico, Haaretz and Ynetnews, Wexler
says McCain has insulted the Jewish community with his VP selection.

This behavior is not only embarrassing to the Jews, but also
dangerous. It is apparent Wexler's decision-making process is
flawed. His inappropriate political use of Jewish issues could promote
anti-Semitic backlashes against American Jews. Wexler falsely claims
to speak for the Jewish community and he has a history of using
anti-Semitism in elections. It was used successfully when he ran for
the Florida Senate against Don Childers. Now he wants to use it to
frighten Jews into believing Sarah Palin is a threat.

Wexler already has a problem convincing people in his district that his
support of Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton was good for the Jewish
community; his credibility on this issue is also in question. I
endorsed Sen. Clinton in the Democratic primary, but I will not
endorse either candidate for president in the general election.

We need to condemn poorly researched personal attacks by elected
officials of either party. It is exactly this kind of behavior that is
driving voters to look for major changes with government. Wexler's
tactic is a good example of why people have little faith in
Congress. Unfortunately, Wexler is again an embarrassment to Jews.