U.S. synagogue disinvites Democratic leader Wasserman Schultz amid Republican protest
Synagogue president attributes cancellation of planned address to security concerns, but Florida congresswoman says it was due to internal synagogue politics.
A Miami synagogue has canceled a planned address by the chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
The synagogue's president, Ben Kuehne, a Miami attorney, said on Thursday that the event was canceled because of security concerns.
Wasserman Schultz, however, attributed the situation partly to the synagogue's "internal politics."
"I believe strongly that in a democracy people should be able to hear from and interact with their elected officials, which is why I gladly accepted Temple Israel’s invitation to speak, as I have previously to many organizations and religious institutions throughout South Florida," she said.
"It is unfortunate that some would allow politics to stand in the way of citizens' ability to interact with their representative," she added.
A prominent member, Stanley Tate, had resigned from the synagogue after he learned Wasserman Schultz would be talking about Israel following Friday evening services.
Tate, a philanthropist and prominent local Republican, was reportedly upset that he would not get an opportunity to offer a Republican rebuttal, according to The Miami Herald.
Tate, 85, is co-chair of Mitt Romney's campaign in Miami-Dade County.
"She's the chairperson of the Democratic National Committee," he told the Herald. "The topic is the U.S.-Israel relationship. There cannot be any conversation on that topic, none, unless it has to do with the politics."