Jewish support is vital to the Obama campaign. Jewish donors play a major role in his fund-raising efforts and Jewish voters live in key battleground states--Florida and Pennsylvania in particular--that can make a difference.
The Obama team gets hit on two Jewish voter fronts on Wednesday:
*The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) called on Obama and the Democratic Party leadership to remove former President Jimmy Carter as a Democratic National Convention speaker because of what they called his "anti-Israel" bias.
"In April 2008, despite strong protests by Israeli leaders, the U.S. State Department and several Democratic leaders, Carter met with Hamas leader Khaled Meshal in Syria," the RJC said.
*Obama foreign policy advisor Daniel Kurtzer --on a trip to Syria unrelated to the Obama campaign--met with Syrian officials, the New York Sun reported. In reaction to this, the McCain
is holding a press conference call Wednesday afternoon with former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani and Randy Scheunemann, McCain 2008 Senior Foreign Policy Adviser to discuss Kurtzer.
*Before the call started, Obama's Tommy Vietor shot off a memo about McCain and Syria.
Below are some areas of interest that you may want to ask Mayor Giuliani about on today's McCain campaign attack call:
McCain Visited Syria In 1984 And Met With President Hafez Assad, Whom McCain Acknowledged At The Time Was Engaged In State-Supported Terrorism. In 1984, after visiting Syria as part of a Congressional delegation, McCain wrote in the Arizona Republic about the trip: "Key among the meetings was a 75-minute session with President Hafez Assad of Syria. He projected an aura of confidence and the satisfaction of a general who had just achieved a decisive victory which indeed he had upon the withdrawal of U.S troops from Beirut to ships offshore. Assad behaved in a friendly manner throughout our discussion. I had to remind myself during the meeting that this outwardly attractive man presides over a brutal regime which has perpetrated numerous atrocities against even the Syrian people and presently is engaged in an active program of state-supported terrorism and intimidation." [Arizona Republic, 3/4/84]
State Department's 1984 Patterns of Global Terrorism Report: "Syria. Damascus uses terrorism to raise the costs to states whose policies are inimical to its interests. It has used Lebanese groups to influence the Lebanese political process. Syria has also sought to weaken political support for the Jordan-PLO Middle East peace initiative. In this regard, Syria uses the various Palestinian groups and Jordanian dissidents to actively wage war against Israelis and against moderate Arab states, such as Jordan, that appear willing to seek accommodation with Tel Aviv." http://www.terrorisminfo.mipt.org/pdf/1984PoGT.pdf (page 4)
Giuliani Open To Negotiations With Syria. Giuliani said, "We've got to deal with North Korea, we have to deal with Syria. And now, this could all be done, hopefully, diplomatically and politically and with negotiations and with economic pressure. "[CNN, 5/4/03]
Black Was Foreign Agent For "Remarkable Collection" Of Foreign Leaders With Harshly Criticized Human Rights Records. "Black and his partners were at times registered foreign agents for a remarkable collection of U.S.-backed foreign leaders whose human rights records were sometimes harshly criticized, even as their opposition to communism was embraced by American conservatives. They include Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigerian Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre, and the countries of Kenya and Equatorial Guinea, among others." [Washington Post, 5/22/08]