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Published:May 25th, 2008 13:44 EST
Can Sen. Barack Obama Garner The Jewish Vote?

Can Sen. Barack Obama Garner The Jewish Vote?

By Robert Paul Reyes

A presidential candidate must be circumspect when speaking about the racial groups that make up his/her coalition. It's unnerving and dismaying to observe the spectacle of Hillary Clinton bragging about having the white blue-collar vote in the pocket of her pantsuit.

The President of the United States must be a uniter and not a divider, he must think of this great country as one people, and not as myriad ethnic and racial communities with competing interests.

Pundits have a special dispensation to be as crass as all get-out, we can dissect the electorate as we see fit.

Jews are not a monolithic voting block, but they usually vote for the Democratic presidential candidate. However the 2008 presumptive nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, has not been embraced with open arms by the Jewish community.

Obama has been endorsed by the Jew-hating Minister Louis Farrakhan, and he was a member of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for over 20 years. Wright has spoken of the nation of Israel in disparaging terms, and the crazed preacher justifies the terrorist tactics of Hamas. Is it any wonder Obama has his work cut out trying to win over the Jewish vote?

It's mostly the Republicans' fault that Obama doesn't enjoy a good relationship with the Jewish community. The GOP dirty tricks machine has been busy planting false rumors that Obama is a Muslim with a secret agenda to destroy Israel.

Obama is not a Muslim, he has been a practicing and committed Christian for decades.

In the face of this Republican trickery Obama has been valiantly attempting to capture the Jewish vote:

Sen. Barack Obama´s visit to a Boca Raton synagogue Thursday was his latest in a series of efforts to convince a skeptical American Jewish community that he is a true supporter of Israel.

Obama, who spoke at Florida´s B´nai Torah Congregation, has been dogged by questions of how his foreign policy views would affect the Jewish state. There is concern that he would foster direct negotiations with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for the destruction of Israel. Obama's also been dealing with erroneous suggestions and suspicions that he is Muslim or anti-Israel."

Quotation from an article by Matt Berger of NBC News

Obama is an intelligent and decent man with a warm and engaging personality; he is taking the right approach in visiting temples. When Obama speaks before Jewish audiences, and he explains his foreign policy views in regard to Israel and the Middle East, they will see that he doesn't share the anti-Semitic views of Wright and Farrakhan.

The Jewish and African American communities have enjoyed a good relationship for decades. The Jews helped bring about the civil rights gains of the 60's by marching hand-in-hand with blacks and by providing legal and financial assistance.

I'm confident that American Jews and the people of Israel will not be sorry if Barack Obama is elected to the White House.