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Obama at the UN. Message clear? Photo: Reuters
Obama at the UN. Message clear? Photo: Reuters

Obama courts Jewish vote with UN speech

US president's aides advise Jewish leaders on his pro-Israel address prior to General Assembly speech in order to ensure 'message is received'

Orly Azoulay
Published: 09.22.11, 11:15 / Israel News

Hours before his UN General Assembly address, US President Barack Obama sought to ensure that prospective Jewish voters pay close attention to his speech.


Three of Obama's aides held a conference call with the president's Jewish supporters and community leaders on Wednesday, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.


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The advisers, all Jewish themselves, asked the supporters to "spread the word" that Obama will give a pro-Israel speech which reflects his own genuine positions and implored them to pay close attention to the president's UN address.


The advisers chosen for the task were Ira Foreman, former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council; Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee; and Robert Wexler, former House of Representative member closely associated with the president.


The three stressed that the Republicans intentionally distort Obama's statements to portray him as an anti-Israel president, when in fact their arguments are baseless.


They mentioned recent praise words given to Obama by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, reminding the Jewish leaders that Obama never demanded Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines.


"You know the facts," they said, "now spread the word."


Prior to the conference call, an event took place in New York which may have influenced the White House move.


Leading Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry held a press conference where he referred to Obama's Israel policy as naïve, condescending and dangerous. The president's staff apparently decided to launch a counter-campaign.





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