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Anti-Gay Rabbi Handling Carl Paladino’s Visits to Synagogues

Quoted on 2006 Gay Pride event in Jerusalem: “I promise there’s going to be bloodshed, not just on that day, but for months afterwards”

Carl Paladino ‘s manager in his campaign to become governor of New York explains Paladino’s recent remarks in the K’hal Adas Kashau synagogue in Brooklyn (H/T LGF):

“He [Paladino] said the remarks were suggested by his “hosts at the synagogue.” His campaign manager, Michael Caputo, told The New York Post that the congregation distributed the draft in Paladino’s name without clearing it with the campaign. A message was left at the synagogue early Monday.

…”In my speech today to Orthodox Jewish leaders in New York City, I noted my opposition to gay marriage, inspired by my Catholic beliefs,” Paladino said in the statement. “I also oppose discrimination of any form.”

As has been widely reported, Paladino had also expressed opposition to gay pride events, adding that:

Don’t misquote me as wanting to hurt homosexual people in any way. That would be a dastardly lie… I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option—it isn’t.

However, the New York Times notes that Paladino’s outreach to ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups is being organised by the notorious Rabbi Yehuda Levin:

…a self-described right-wing Brooklyn rabbi named Yehuda Levin… had heard that other Jewish leaders were accusing Mr. Paladino of being an anti-Semite because of disparaging comments he had made about Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker. After Mr. Caputo explained Mr. Paladino’s side of the story, Rabbi Levin, a fierce critic of Mr. Silver’s, invited the Republican candidate for governor to address his congregation.

“I told him, ‘I have the credibility that when I go in front of the media and I am representing the Paladino camp, and that if he is coming to my synagogue, right before the holiday of Sukkot, it will mean something,'” Mr. Levin said in an interview on Monday.

 …Mr. Paladino first came to Mr. Levin’s synagogue in September. Mr. Levin then helped arrange his visits to a Williamsburg synagogue and a Borough Park yeshiva — both affiliated with relatively minor sects — on Sunday.

Levin’s vicious monomania on homosexuality rivals that of Fred Phelps: in 1997 he urged a boycott of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, because the museum had dared to mention homosexual victims of the Nazis, and in 2005 (as the Times notes) he described a gay rights march in Jerusalem as the “spiritual rape” of the Holy Land. In 2006, his invective against gays in Jerusalem included an apparent threat of violence. As was reported:

Much more ominously for Jerusalem, thousands of orthodox jews protested this week about the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Gay Pride to go ahead on November 11

…”I promise there’s going to be bloodshed, not just on that day, but for months afterwards,” New York rabbi, Yehuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America said in July at a joint meeting of Muslim, Jewish and Christian clerics, “In America, we are outraged and disgusted over this event.”

I blogged on this at the time. So, Paladino doesn’t want “to hurt homosexual people in any way”, yet he’ll take advice on what to say on the subject from someone shows no interest in making such a distinction.

On 22 July, Paladino received the endorsement of anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller; a few days later, Paladino came under fire for racist and obscene emails, and Geller responded by promising that “If it turns out that Mr. Paladino did indeed send those emails, I will withdraw my support from him…I will keep you posted”. What this amounted was that she stopped writing about him for a few weeks, until the fuss had died down. A couple of months before that, Geller and her sidekick Robert Spencer had distanced themselves from Martin Mawyer over (to quote Spencer) Mawyer’s “ugly, vitriolic rhetoric” on homosexuality; they had formerly been willing to turn a blind eye to what Mawyer stood for, but the controversy had eventually become too damaging. We look forward to a statement Paladino’s alliance with Levin, who is synonymous with “ugly, vitriolic rhetoric” on the same subject.

UPDATE: Alas:

…On Tuesday, after broad condemnation, Mr. Paladino apologized for his “poorly chosen words” and said he would “fight for all gay New Yorkers’ rights” if elected.

Rabbi Levin said that he considered the apology a betrayal, and that he pined for the “old Carl” who spoke from his heart rather than bending to political whims. 

…Rabbi Levin said Wednesday that Mr. Paladino probably did not write his apology either. He suggested that “militant gays” wrote it and handed it to a naïve Mr. Paladino…

One Response

  1. I think that Paladino’s children would have been much better off being raised by a loving gay couple than by such an ignorant bigot.

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