MAY 22, 2008
As he tours a crucial swing state lost by Democrats in the last two presidential elections, Barack Obama will get hit by the surprising betrayal of a key and politically powerful group that considers him soft on terrorism, weak on Israel and racially divisive.
A huge chunk of Florida’s Jewish voters, key to an Obama general election victory, claim they won’t support the Illinois Senator against Republican John McCain or any other candidate for that matter. Obama is touring the state, which he lost to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, this week and appearing at a synagogue in the hugely Jewish south Florida city of Boca Raton.
But members of the Sunshine State’s important constituency are turned off by Obama and would rather betray their party than support him. They say his foreign policy positions—soft on Iran and not supportive of Israel—and his controversial, racist pastor have turned them off.
Obama believes Iran does not represent a threat to the U.S. and he has publicly expressed his willingness to negotiate with its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly insulted Jews by describing the Holocaust as a “myth.”
The Illinois senator’s decades-long friendship with his racist pastor and presidential campaign advisor (Reverend Jeremiah Wright) is also unacceptable to Florida Jews. In public sermons Wright has blamed the U.S. for causing the 2001 terrorist attacks with its own terrorism and damned America for treating blacks less than human. The reverend is also tight with a renowned anti-Semite cult leader, Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan, whom he says “truly epitomizes greatness.”
Incidentally, Farrakhan endorses Obama and refers to the presidential candidate as the “hope of the entire world.” Jewish voters also condemn the Obama endorsement from yet another controversial black reverend, Jesse Jackson, who has referred to Jews as “Hymies” and New York City as “Hymietown.”
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