Monday, October 06, 2008


The release of a endorsement video issued by an American Jewish group supporting Barack Obama’s run for the presidency has been causing quite a stir in the Israeli papers. Ha’aretz:
A Jewish political action committee that supports Barack Obama's bid for the American presidency has "recruited" former senior Israeli defense officials to the campaign by collating flattering statements about the Democratic senator from seven such officials into a new advertisement that will begin running on Monday.

However, it seems that some participants - including former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy and Brigadier General (res.) Uzi Dayan - were unaware they were aiding an Obama campaign ad.

The ad was produced by the Jewish Council for Education and Research, which is already responsible for two other projects aimed at attracting Jewish voters to Obama, and the Great Schlep. The new effort is meant to reassure Jews who fear that Obama's conciliatory approach to diplomacy will result in his being soft on terrorists, and hence bad for Israel.

There is one is just one tiny problem with the video:
But some of participants, apparently were unaware they were aiding a campaign ad. Dayan, for instance, claimed on Sunday that he had no idea he was appearing in the ad, that his words had been taken out of context, and that he neither supports nor opposes Obama, as he opposes any Israeli involvement in American politics.

"I never said I support Obama or his opinions," Dayan said. "They interviewed me in early July and said the interview would be devoted to questions of Middle East policy that would be on the new president's desk ... I don't know what I'm doing in a campaign video."

He added that he has asked the council to remove him from the clip and that he would consider his next moves after receiving its response.

Halevy also denied ever having expressed support for Obama. "I said he's a fresh, interesting personality and so forth, but I also said positive things about McCain," Halevy said. "I told them I thought it was inappropriate for an Israeli to express an opinion on who should be president of the U.S. I learned of this only today, and it angers me. I think it was an improper use of the interview with me, and I will demand that they correct it.
Oy vey.

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