Carly Fiorina’s Trip to Israel As a Means to Expunging Her Record on Iran

Carly Fiorina made a pilgrimage to the land of my people this weekend, certainly an interesting development with just over eight weeks left in the campaign.  (By the way, L’shanah tova!)

For the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, what happens in the Holy Land, apparently stays in the Holy Land. Fiorina had told an Israeli business magazine  that she wanted to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. But there hasn’t been a peep out of the Israeli press about any meeting between Fiorina and top officials in Israel.

Nor is Fiorina’s campaign saying bupkis about the getaway. A campaign spokeswoman says, “This was a personal trip for Carly, so it had nothing to do with the campaign.”

Over at the Republican Jewish Coalition, which was approached by Fiorina to arrange and fund the trip, they didn’t see anything campaign-like in the visit.(Daily Beast)

So, why exactly did she decide to take a vacation that is half a world away. It’s not like there aren’t relaxing vacation spots in the Golden State where she could get away and do a bit of relaxation.  But contrary to Fiorina’s campaign, this was completely about the senate race.  It is especially hard to argue otherwise when she asked the Republican Jewish Coalition to pay for it.  It’s not like she doesn’t have enough money to pay for a couple of first class tickets to Ben Gurion airport.

But while there is part of the typical foreign policy education component here, with Carly there is the question of her sales to Iran hanging over the whole foreign policy debate.  While Carly likes to claim that she had no knowledge of the Iranian sales, she was either purposefully sticking her head in the sand in order to get the money from Iranian sales or she was a terrible CEO who didn’t know what her company was doing.  As Chuck DeVore pointed out in the primary, there are simply too many questions here left unanswered.

I hope that Ms. Fiorina’s trip to Israel is a safe and enjoyable visit, but a few days in Jerusalem hardly changes her record in the Middle East.  Over the flip find a letter from several Jewish leaders in Los Angeles regarding her trip.

Carly Fiorina for Senate

915 L Street, Suite C-378

Sacramento, CA 95814

September 7, 2010

Ms. Fiorina:

On behalf of CEO Watch, we are excited that you have agreed to make an educational visit to Israel. Israel is one of America’s strongest allies in the world and we hope that you go with an open mind so you can avail yourself of the many lessons you will have before you.

However, we have learned about your behavior when you were CEO of Hewlett-Packard, which we find very troubling. Over the course of the few years you ran HP before you were fired, a HP subsidiary sold equipment to Iran. According to the State Department, Iran is a state sponsor of Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad; those terrorist groups are targeting the State of Israel.

According to news accounts, this subsidiary was started with the sole purpose of selling HP products to Iran, and you awarded this subsidiary “Wholesaler of the Year” in 2003. Earlier this year, when your behavior was reported in newspapers, your former company HP acknowledged that some of its equipment may be in use by the Iranian military. HP has now severed its relationship with this subsidiary company. During the time you were selling equipment to this state sponsor of terrorism, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called “for the destruction of Israel, describing it as a ‘cancerous tumor’ in the Middle East,” according to Reuters.

Your decision to do business with Iran has undermined Israel’s security and important US trade sanctions. We hope you can apologize in Israel for your deplorable behavior. With the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days and peace talk resuming in Washington, we hope you will join us on the journey of real peace and security in all of the Middle East.

Safe travels,

Rabbi Steven Jacobs

Recipient of Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award, Executive Board Member of Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Founder of Progressive Faith Foundation

Rabbi Jonathan Klein

Los Angeles

Rabbi Linda Bertenthal

Managing Congregational Representative, West District

Union for Reform Judaism

Howard Welinsky

Former Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation, Los Angeles

Andrew Lachman

Los Angeles Jewish Federation, Young Leaders Division and Jewish Community Relations Committee

Ron Galperin

Cantor, Los Angeles

One thought on “Carly Fiorina’s Trip to Israel As a Means to Expunging Her Record on Iran”

  1. …on the “plaques for blacks” tradition.

    Rabbi Steven Jacobs

    Recipient of Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award

    Does this WC award outrank that wacky and garish Tom Cruise medal?

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