Missing the Symbolism of Obama’s Visit to Sderot, Israel

•July 24, 2008 • Leave a Comment

by Daniel Levy
July 24, 2008

Senator Barack Obama was a big hit in Israel. The local TV last night and press this morning was in gushing form. According to Israel’s most viewed news show, on Channel 2 TV, Israel’s leaders (all of whom the Illinoisan senator met, from both government and opposition) entered something of a beauty contest over who could look most photogenic alongside the visiting presidential hopeful/rock star.

Obama spent an intense thirty-six hours ticking off the boxes of all the necessary sights and sounds — from Yad Vashem to the Western Wall, from Labor leader Ehud Barak to Likud front man Benjamin Netanyahu, and everyone in between (including of course the Prime Minister and President). But the most symbolic stop on this whirlwind tour was in Sderot, and not for the reasons you might assume — a topic to which we will return shortly.

For a day Israelis enjoyed being the center of world attention for a refreshingly non-angst ridden reason. To the extent to which Barack Obama had trailed John McCain in popularity ratings among Israelis, it was largely due to a lack of familiarity with the young Senator. That is something that this visit lay to rest, and that will likely be reflected in future, equally meaningless polls. All this should of course play very well back home, in particular with parts of the American Jewish community, which after all was the reason for Israel being on his trip itinerary in the first place. The Israeli media respectfully acknowledged this fact. By the way, and as was noted at Huffington Post, the entire exercise may have been somewhat unnecessary when one considers that a new J Street poll found that Obama is even more popular amongst American Jews than Joe Lieberman, with a thermometer positive rating of 57.8 % compared to Joe “Hagee is Moses” Lieberman who scored 41.7%.

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Obama at Yad Vashem

•July 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment
Obama at Yad Vashem

Obama at Yad Vashem

Ahead of visit, Sderot residents say Obama has the power to change the world

•July 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Mijal Grinberg
July 23, 2008

The corridors of the Sderot town hall were empty yesterday. Mayor Eli Moyal did not report to work and many of the top officials’ offices were locked.

In the streets, election posters for the mayoral candidates were evident but there were few signs of activity. All of these were symbols of the locals’ need for leadership.

Judging by conversations with residents on the eve of Barack Obama’s visit to the town, it seems that the only leadership that might be able to affect the fate of Sderot is the United States’ presidency.

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Obama Far More Popular Among Jews Than Lieberman

•July 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

by Sam Stein
July 22, 2008

If Barack Obama has a problem among Jewish voters, then Sen. Joseph Lieberman is in monumental trouble.

Among the most high-profile Jews in Congress, Lieberman is viewed far more unfavorably than the presumptive Democratic nominee, according to a new poll. Only 37 percent of Jews view the Connecticut Independent in a favorable light compared to 48 percent who have a negative perception. As for Obama, 60 percent of Jews view him favorably while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

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The Troops Love Obama

•July 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Nader: Officially a relic of the old politics of division

•June 25, 2008 • 1 Comment

June 25, 2008

(CNN) —Ralph Nader’s presidential candidacy has received little media attention, but his latest critique of Barack Obama has come under fire for it’s seemingly racial overtones.

Speaking with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News, Nader accused Obama of attempting to both “talk white” and appeal to “white guilt” in his quest to win the White House.

“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American,” Nader told the paper in comments published Tuesday. “Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.”

Obama’s presidential campaign called those comments disappointing, and his communication’s director, Robert Gibbs, said Tuesday they were “reprehensible and basically delusional.”

“I don’t think he’s spent a lot of time looking at the record of Barack Obama,” Gibbs said on MSNBC.

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Dr. Dobson Has Just Handed Obama Victory

•June 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

By Frank Schaeffer
June 24, 2008

Senator Obama just took another giant step toward winning the presidency. Actually, someone who considers himself a sworn enemy of Senator Obama took the step for him. Dr. Dobson of the Focus On the Family radio program (and evangelical media empire) has aired a program in which he attacks Senator Obama, the Senator’s theology and his credentials as a Christian. With enemies like this Senator Obama doesn’t need friends.

No, I’m not talking about Dobson energizing liberal Democrats. I’m talking about Dobson energizing his fellow evangelicals to vote for Senator Obama.

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