Monday, January 28, 2008


Obama addresses Jewish concerns (JTA)

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- A packed auditorium was waiting for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama to receive a pivotal endorsement and his aide was rushing him along, but he had something important to say first -- to American Jews.

"Before we go, I'd like to add one last comment," the Democratic presidential hopeful told the aide in a conference call with the Jewish news media Monday morning, just minutes before being endorsed by U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) at American University here. "My strong and deep commitment and connection to the Jewish community should not be questioned."

The call was about to end after about 20 minutes of questions, but then Obama (D-Ill.) announced that he wanted to address a series of falsehoods appearing in e-mails aimed at the Jewish community.
The e-mails in question describe the candidate, who was born to a nominally Muslim Kenyan father, as a secret practitioner of Islam.

Read more and listen to the conference call.

SEE ALSO: Obama: Palestinian refugees can't return (JPost)
Palestinian refugees belong in their own state and do not have a "literal" right of return to Israel, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday.

"The outlines of any agreement would involve ensuring that Israel remains a Jewish state," Obama told The Jerusalem Post and other members of the Jewish and Israeli press on a conference call. He reiterated his support for a two-state solution, but said, "We cannot move forward until there is some confidence that the Palestinians are able to provide the security apparatus that would prevent constant attacks against Israel from taking place."

His conversation with reporters and his support for the Israeli position on refugees came on the heels of scurrilous charges that Obama is secretly a Muslim who received a radical Wahabi education.

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