Photo Credit:
Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky

Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-9) was slated to be honored by Keshet Sunday evening, March 8, 2015 with its Community Service Award. According to reliable sources close to the situation, the developmental disabilities charity asked Schakowsky earlier this week not to attend their annual Rainbow Banquet.

Rumors began circulating on Tuesday afternoon when Keshet’s Facebook page posted, “Due to unanticipated circumstances beyond Keshet’s control, the Congresswoman will not be able to attend this year’s banquet on Sunday, March 8th.” This social media statement was released approximately 90 minutes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu completed his controversial address to a joint session of Congress.

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One Keshet follower commented, “Does this have anything to do with backlash from her boycotting Netanyahu? Keshet has helped a lot of children, including my own. However, it was a terrible lapse in judgment to honor her in the first place.”

Schakowsky, who represents one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations, boycotted Netanyahu’s speech. In a press release, she criticized the invitation for Netanyahu to speak as   “ill-advised” and a threat to “both the security of Israel and the historic bi-partisan support in the Congress.”

Schakowsky’s boycott decision was not well received by many in the pro-Israel community, including those who reside in her congressional district. The nine-term congresswoman has a solid pro-Israel voting record, but is often criticized for her “lockstep” support for the Obama administration and her silence in response to comments made by the administration over the years that have been perceived as unsupportive of and offensive to the Jewish State.

When asked if the rumors were true that Keshet asked her not to attend their Sunday night fundraiser, an organization board member, who asked not to be identified, told the Salomon Center, “It’s true. The concern is that an actual protest would take place right in the lobby to protest Jan Schakowsky. Ultimately the decision was made that this is a Keshet dinner and the focus needs to be about the kids of Keshet, not about the congresswoman.”

The board member continued, “Regardless of how you feel about her, positive or negative, it’s not about her and it never was intended to be about her. She has done good stuff for Keshet.  That said, it’s got to be about the kids.”

The source was very clear that this decision was not an indictment based on Schakowsky’s decision to boycott Netanyahu’s speech, but strictly a move to ensure the evening would remain about the children served by Keshet.

Said one supporter of the charity who asked only to be identified as Howard, “I planned to attend Sunday’s fundraiser because the organization is amazing and deserves our support. But I planned to walk out when Schakowsky would be called to the stage and hoped others would follow me.

I’m glad that everyone came to a decision that is best for Keshet and the kids.”

Keshet, CEO/Executive Director, Abbie Weisberg told the Salomon Center:

Over the year’s congresswoman Schakowsky has been a staunch supporter of Keshet and do to unanticipated circumstances beyond our control, the congresswoman is not able to attend this year’s banquet on Sunday. But we are grateful and she has pledged her ongoing support for the organization and the individuals it serves.

She would never want Keshet to be in a situation that created any negativity around our program. That’s not Jan Schakowsky. She wouldn’t come period. She loves Keshet. Congresswoman Schakowsky’s communications director, Lee Whack offered “no comment.”

Full Disclosure: In 2010, the journalist, Mr. Miller, worked for a campaign that challenged Mrs. Schakowsky for the Illinois 9th congressional district.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. People do not realize how vicious the WH is. Hope after Bibi’s visit, some eyes are opened. The Democrats who boycotted is speech well know the viciousness. Look how the WH has turned on Menendez for supporting Bibi, and on Hillary just because O hates her….

  2. Another Self-Hating Jew shows her face this bitch is no friend of Israel or the Jewish People….and her district which is a majority of Jewish voters will continue to elect this liberal, Hussein Obama loving piece of crap

  3. Netanyahu should never had spoken, if only out of courtesy for the the leader of another sovereign nation., He was interfering in the politics and the foreign policy of this country, and should never have done that. He and the Republicans that invited him are war hawks.

  4. For this woman to walk out before Netanyahu's address is despicable !
    Israel's existence is at stake That was why Netanyahu was compelled to speak And he was acclaimed for his forthrightness
    Can this fool not realize that How much insight can such a person have
    Shame on you Schakowsky !

  5. I don't believe any Democrat who skipped Bibi's speech did so without thinking about it first. Especially if they are Jewish, or Israel supporters. Obama should have seconded the invitation, then have Bibi come to the White House. That would have cemented the Jewish constituency with Obama and the Dems.
    Democrats usually march in lockstep. Even for bad ideas. More than ever before, Jews like me are turning to the Republican party. We are thinking the government should work FOR us, rather than AGAINST us.
    Another thing is that we have always worked with the government, rather than oppose, but we are being left out. now.
    If you are thinking that a Jews views on this are unimportant, then ask yourself if the government is acting responsibly, I don't think Obama should run this country like a dictatorship. He says he can do what he does due to emergencies that allow more broad power. I say checks and balances have always worked, and not to abandon them now.

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