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Sweet: Seven Jewish senators sign letter deploring "false and malicious" attacks on Obama

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LAS VEGAS, NV.--Seven Democratic Jewish senators—none who have endorsed a Democratic presidential contender --signed an “open letter to the Jewish community” asking their fellow Jews to reject “false and malicious attacks” being circulated about White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who throughout his run has had to refute rumors he is a Muslim.

“Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama's religion and attack him personally,” said the letter, whose lead signer is Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI.)

“ As Jewish United States Senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks. We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks arc apparently being sent specifically to the Jewish Community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics.”

The other signers are Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.); Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.); Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.); Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.); Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

Two other Jewish senators—Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY.). The other Jewish senators are Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I/D-Ct.).

The letter is important to Obama because it comes as major contests are coming up in Feb. 5 states with substantial Jewish populations and as he faces a vote on Jan. 26 in South Carolina where he is trying to appeal to Christian faith based voters.

Obama has been the subject of persistent and incorrect attacks making the rounds in mass e-mails about his religion. Obama is a Christian. His problem was triggered in part because his middle name is Hussein, he spent part of his youth in Indonesia, a Muslim majority country and on his fathers side he has Muslim roots.

“We won't dignify these falsehoods by repeating them in order to refute them. Instead, we will express our outrage at these tactics, which are being used to demonize a good and decent man and our friend and colleague. Attempting to manipulate voters into supporting or opposing one candidate or another based on despicable and fictitious attacks is disgraceful. These false and malicious attacks should not be part of our political discourse,” the letter said.

Levin quarterbacked getting the six other Jewish senators on board the letter to defend Obama. He was flagged about the situation by his cousin, Dan Levin, Habitat Co. and East Bank Club honcho who is a long-time Obama supporter.

THE LETTER


Carl Levin
United States Senator
January 18,2008

An Open Letter to the Jewish Community:

Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails
That use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama's religion and attack him
personally. As Jewish United States Senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the
Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks.

We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks arc apparently being sent specifically
to the Jewish Community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks,
should be the first to reject these tactics.

We won't dignify these falsehoods by repeating them in order to refute them. Instead, we
will express our outrage at these tactics, which are being used to demonize a good and
decent man and our friend and colleague. Attempting to manipulate voters into
supporting or opposing one candidate or another based on despicable and fictitious
attacks is disgraceful. These false and malicious attacks should not be part of our
political discourse.

All voters should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best
president. We sincerely hope that Americans will make that decision based on the factual
records of these candidates, not false charges circulated by anonymous mass emails.
Sincerely,


5 Comments

Bernie Sanders.... spelling error: Independent senator from Vermont

The Jewish vote for the most part is going to Hillary Clinton, as he has wooed the Israel First crowd for the past 6 years as a New York Senator.

Maybe they just wanted to throw Barack a bone "just in case" he for some unexpected reason wins. Why don't the Jewish leaders complain when the Faux News channel, owned by a prominent Australian one Rupert Murdoch(who also at one time ownrd the Chicago Suntimes), keeps calling out his middle name (Hussein) whenever Brit Hume mentions it...Fair and balanced?

Let's get to the real news story...Ron Paul beats Mayor 9-11(3%) Fredo Thompson(5%)Huckleberry(8%) and could still possibly beat out John McCain, which he is virtually tied with at 12% at the time of this blog entry...

Ron Paul coming in second or third without the support of the mainstream media, the Faux news snub and many other hurdles is the real "feel gppd story" of the Nevada race!

Go Ron Paul in 2008~! See you at the Illinois polls on February 5th!

and what if he was of another faith? what then? this is a very weird, weird approach to AMERICAN politics.

My message is simple. As an American, I find it totally unacceptable for ANY candidate seeking the highest office in the land, and leader of the free world to be associated with any church that promotes division, lauds persons who are known racists, and has allegiance to any country above the United States. I do not expect any senator, regardless of faith, to make excuses for any candidate that is held to a different standard than others. When this country really moves past discrimination, there will be no exceptions to rules, and elected officials will not give any candidate a free pass on racist affiliation, but will hold all candidates to the same high ethical standards. Any candidate not held accountable for association with long-standing racist organizations violate their oath of office, as do those who stand silently by, thus upholding, whether on the state or national level. As the stewards of our trust, we look to you to ensure that all persons are treated equally and fairly, and not to be forced to tolerate racism because to challenge controversial matters or hidden agendas would be politically incorrect. We rightfully expect courage on all fronts. To expect less, is totally un-American. Please do not allow disrespect to yourselves, thereby us all.

What difference do the emails make? None!!!!!!
If I get such an email, guess what, I have a brain, and it A) says nothing I haven't heard before on the net and B) has no power to affect my vote!!!
In fact, such ham fisted tactics only convince me that a) Clinton forces sent it out and are thus proven brain dead by doing so since it gives Obama a prime chance to continue playing the race card, or b) Obama people sent it out so they COULD and Did trash Clinton or c) Republicans sent it out to egg on cat fights amongst the Democrats.
But hey, that's me and I have a brain. I use it. Maybe other voters don't. But for US Senators to make such a public spectacle of themselves over such a stupid thing is insulting to the public intelligence and grandstanding in an obnoxious manner!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 19, 2008 12:25 PM.

Sweet column: Nevada, the West, "new market" for Democratic votes. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: The raucus caucus at the Wynn casino. Clinton wins popular Nevada vote. Obama 13 delegates, Clinton 12. is the next entry in this blog.

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