Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama swears he's no anti-Semite

Barack Hussein Obama has been the subject of quite a few Internet smear campaigns. The lingering one has been that he is not a Christian but a closet Muslim (as if belief in Islam should preclude someone from being president), that his name is strange and suspicious, and, most recently that he is an anti-Semite.

He has vehemently denied the first and last attacks. Leaders in the Jewish community jumped behind him last week and then seven of the 13 Jewish senators joined in. But just to make sure the Jewish community didn't miss the point, Obama held a conference call this morning with reporters from a few Jewish publications. I was supposed to be on it, but the woman coordinating the call for Obama for America told me to call in tomorrow. Whoops.

Here is the link to the audio.
"As we celebrate Israel's 60th year, I'm reminded of not just of Israel's longstanding role as the democracy in the Middle East, and the steadfast friendships between our governments, but also the way in which the Jewish people have been able to transform themselves post World War II and the state of Israel's incredible resolve to face down the constant threats it has faced. ..."

"I have consistently and strongly pledged that as president we are going to ensure Israel's qualititative military support and superiority in this difficult neighborhood and stand with Israel's democracy. ...

"I have always stood steadfast against anti-Semitism in all it's forms. I have always stood with Israel in its quest for security. And I want to make sure that we continue to strengthen the enduring ties between our people and pledge to give real meaning to the words 'never again.'"
After that, he took four questions, the first of which from JTA's Ron Kampeas, who asked about Obama's church's connections with Louis Farrakhan. Again, you can listen to the rest here.

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