Jewish Groups Condemn False Charges of Obama Being Anti-Semitic

The latest round of smears on Barack Obama is quickly being debunked, as Jewish groups are joining in to condemn the right wing attempts to connect Obama with anti-Semitism. Richard Cohen repeated some of these claims in a column in The Washington Post. The smears concentrate on relationships between Jeremiah A. Wright, the pastor of Obama’s church, and Trumpet Magazine, a church newsletter, to Louis Farrakhan. The attacks boil down to insinuating that Obama shares views with Farrahkan  because of support for Farrahkan by Wright and the church newsletter. As even Cohen concedes in his column, “It’s important to state right off that nothing in Obama’s record suggests he harbors anti-Semitic views or agrees with Wright when it comes to Farrakhan.”

Obama has previously made it clear that he does not agree with Wright’s anti-Semitic views, and repeated this today:

I decry racism and anti-Semitism in every form and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet Magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree.

One aspect of this smear campaign has been to translate the anti-Obama emails into Hebrew. Several Jewish organizations have condemned this attack in the following letter:

January 15, 2008

An Open Letter to the Jewish Community:

As leaders of the Jewish community, none of whose organizations will endorse or oppose any candidate for President, we feel compelled to speak out against certain rhetoric and tactics in the current campaign that we find particularly abhorrent. Of particular concern, over the past several weeks, many in our community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama’s religious beliefs and who he is as a person.

These tactics attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion. We reject these efforts to manipulate members of our community into supporting or opposing candidates.

Attempts of this sort to mislead and inflame voters should not be part of our political discourse and should be rebuffed by all who believe in our democracy. Jewish voters, like all voters, should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best president. We urge everyone to make that decision based on the factual records of these candidates, and nothing less.

Sincerely,

William Daroff, Vice President, United Jewish Communities

Nathan J. Diament, Director, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Abraham Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Richard S. Gordon, President, American Jewish Congress

David Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee

Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Phyllis Snyder, President, National Council of Jewish Women

Hadar Susskind, Washington Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    michelle says:

    We cannot afford four more years of Bush/McCain policies.

    Barack Obama and Joe Biden will bring the change and experience needed to rebuild our economy, infrastructure, affordable health care, bring our troops home with honor, create more green jobs, equality for everyone and restore our respect around the world.

    VOTE: BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT!

  2. 2
    Derek Maune says:

    @glenngreenwald I haven’t seen anything about the latest comparison of Obama to Hitler, but it’s come up before http://bit.ly/X04OT

  3. 3
    derekmaune says:

    @glenngreenwald I haven’t seen anything about the latest comparison of Obama to Hitler, but it’s come up before http://bit.ly/X04OT

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