Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jewish Week points to falsehoods being spread about Obama...

Via The New York Jewish Week:

Campaign Of Falsehoods On Obama Seen Sticking

On eve of Florida primary, signs that e-mail blitz charging Muslim background gaining traction among Jews.

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign is fighting back against the innuendos, by distributing this week an “open letter to the Jewish community” from seven Jewish Democratic Senate colleagues condemning the “abhorrent” tactics.
by James D. Besser
Washington Correspondent

When Doug Bloomfield, a columnist for Jewish newspapers and popular lecturer on the pro-Israel circuit, spoke in south Florida last week, he was astonished by what he encountered .

Anonymous e-mails and not-so-anonymous charges by some Jewish leaders about Sen. Barack Obama’s alleged Muslim past have started gaining real traction in the increasingly furious battle for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, he said.

"I was really shocked by the number of people who took these things seriously," Bloomfield said this week. "One man said to me: how do you know he’s not a ‘Muslim plant’; another used the words ‘Manchurian Candidate.’"

Bloomfield said he tried to "dispel what I see as a concerted hate campaign, coming largely from the Jewish right," in his speech.

Last week, a group of top Jewish leaders representing groups across the religious and political spectrum issued a statement that sought to stem the onslaught of disinformation.

Read the rest of the article.

Some friends of mine and myself are aware that such negative e-mails are being disseminated to one and all just before the Florida primary. The information is patently untrue. Such scare tactics come from the right. Don't let it get to you.


January 15, 2008

An Open Letter to the Jewish Community:

As leaders of the Jewish community, none of whose organizations will endorse or oppose any candidate for President, we feel compelled to speak out against certain rhetoric and tactics in the current campaign that we find particularly abhorrent. Of particular concern, over the past several weeks, many in our community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo to mischaracterize Senator Barack Obama's religious beliefs and who he is as a person.

These tactics attempt to drive a wedge between our community and a presidential candidate based on despicable and false attacks and innuendo based on religion. We reject these efforts to manipulate members of our community into supporting or opposing candidates.

Attempts of this sort to mislead and inflame voters should not be part of our political discourse and should be rebuffed by all who believe in our democracy. Jewish voters, like all voters, should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best president. We urge everyone to make that decision based on the factual records of these candidates, and nothing less.


William Daroff, Vice President, United Jewish Communities

Nathan J. Diament, Director, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Abraham Foxman, National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Richard S. Gordon, President, American Jewish Congress

David Harris, Executive Director, American Jewish Committee

Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center

Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Phyllis Snyder, President, National Council of Jewish Women

Hadar Susskind, Washington Director, Jewish Council for Public Affairs


Anonymous said...

This stuff sickens me. Even my father-in-law has been forwarding this crap to my wife and I, seemingly believing every word, from the Muslim "accusations" to the infamous hand-not-over-the-heart picture. We gathered up compelling evidence that contradicted every email and Faux News story he sent our way, including pictures of Obama WITH hand over heart, video clips of him LEADING and RECITING the pledge of allegiance, and speaking in his own CHRISTIAN church here in Chicago. Sadly, I don't think any of it got through. It's easier to fear what you don't know anything about.

And yes, my vote went the way you were hoping! As did my wife's. :)

SandyCarlson said...

If this is the best the anti-Obama crowd can do, they don't have much.

The anti-Muslim bigotry implicit in this campaign is as sickening as the campaign itself.

Durward Discussion said...

The letter in all its rediculous forms started among the super rightwing political types and over the top Christian fundamentalists. It has since gone viral and everyone of whatever religious or racial stripe who are actively engaged in hatred have forwarded it to their mailing lists. Now, of course, there is no way to stop it. It will keep popping up whenever someone either too ignorant or too stupid to recognize it for what it is sends it along to all their friends and relations.

The best we can do is to send it back with corrections.

maryt/theteach said...

jt, Sandy and Jamie, we have sent any and all e-mails back to the originators with corrections and statements from Jewish newspapers that have condemned such charges against Obama.

I have mailed this post to all my friends who would be interested.

Thanks for commenting and understanding this as a serious situation.

Colin Campbell said...

Obama is up against some very powerful influences. It will just get worse if he gets the nomination. Glad these people are standing up. No need to be swift boated.

RW said...

I did not know that! Thanks Mary!!

Schmoop said...

I'm not a big Obama fan but this Muslim rhetoric against him is just idiotic and unfounded. Cheers!!

Anonymous said...


I have been fortunate enough to not have to put up with such blatant, moronic disinformation coming to me through my inbox(es). However, I have read a lot of the reports and statements made agaisnt Obama, and I wish I could say it bothers me...but it doesn't. I think that is because it is something that I expect and have become desensitized to anymore...go figure.

On the other hand, my dad and stepmother (whom I have always figured to be open-minded people) ended up falling into this trap. They believe that Obama has "No Religious" leanings and that Obama's father raised him as a radical muslim, coupled with the bit about the heand over the heart bit.

It took me awhile, but I eventually at least got them to realize that the stuff that they were getting was false (my thanks to, and!!!).

I have been careful in pointing out that I am not trying to champion or encourage someone to vote for Obama...I am pointing out that they should not believe everything they get from a chain e-mail. To be honest, I don't know if I convinced them to look at Obama with such thingly vieled hatred and pointed out that they were acting like close-minded morons or not. I hope that I did...

At any rate, given the BS going around by some folks saying that Obama is a muslim eventually getting to the Jewish community and they start crying and getting red-faced is hardly surprising to me. I am just glad that there are plenty of folks out there who are willing to counter it.

maryt/theteach said...

I've gotten some really great remarks and comments here and I'm glad! Seems the people who read my blog are smart people who know when false stuff gets sent through the mail. Thanks guys! I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Great that you blogged on these disgraceful lies and innuendoes which must be exposed. As the campaign continues, it will get even dirtier and no matter who your candidate is, keep squashing such smut.