from Newsweek: The comment seemed like a casual aside. Ann Lewis, a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton, was touting the New York senator's strong support for Israel during a conference call in January with leaders of major American Jewish organizations. During the call, Lewis energetically contrasted Clinton's pro-Israel credentials with those of Barack Obama. To make her point, she said that Obama's "chief foreign-policy adviser" is Zbigniew Brzezinski, says one participant who would talk about the call only if he were not identified.
Brzezinski—the former national-security adviser to Jimmy Carter—is not Obama's "chief foreign-policy adviser." That is the job of a triumvirate who once worked for Bill Clinton: Anthony Lake, Susan Rice and Greg Craig. But Brzezinski, who tells NEWSWEEK he has advised Obama "only on occasion," has a reputation that is close to toxic in the American Jewish community. "When Brzezinski's name appears on an advisory list, that's a red flag right away," says an influential American Jewish leader who did not want to sour relations with the Obama campaign. Many American Jews mistrust Brzezinski because he endorsed a 2006 article, later a book, called "The Israel Lobby," which blames many U.S. foreign-policy problems on Washington's ties to Israel.
Lewis's aside is not an isolated incident. (She did not respond to a request for comment.) As the race between Clinton and Obama has sharpened in recent months, other Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama's relations with Israel, according to e-mails obtained by NEWSWEEK. In addition to Brzezinski, the e-mails attack Obama advisers such as Rob Malley, a former Clinton negotiator at the 2000 Camp David talks who has since written articles sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view, and they raise questions about Obama's relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor at Obama's Trinity Church in Chicago. Wright has criticized Israel, and Trumpet, a publication run by his daughter, gave an award for "greatness" to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who once called Judaism a "bloodsucking religion." (Obama disagreed with bestowing the award.)more
today, obama met with jewish leaders in ohio. this from political punch:
This morning in Columbus, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., met with some local Jewish leaders where he discussed Israel, his church, the Middle East, and rumors being spread about him.
Interestingly, just yesterday, Newsweek took a look at how "Clinton campaign operatives have sent around negative material about Obama's relations with Israel...In an e-mail sent Feb. 4 -- a day before Super Tuesday -- Clinton finance official Annie Totah passed along a critical essay by Ed Lasky, a conservative blogger, whose own anti-Obama e-mails have circulated in the U.S. Jewish community. Totah wrote: 'Please read the attached important and very disturbing article on Barak (sic) Obama. Please vote wisely in the Primaries.'"
In Ohio today, one of the matters discussed was the former pastor at Obama's church, Trinity Church in Chicago, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
The outspoken Wright has criticized Israel, and Wright's daughter runs a publication, Trumpet Newsmagazine, that gave an award to Nation of Islam leader, and anti-Semite, Louis Farrakhan. (You can watch the video tribute to him HERE.) At the time of the award, Obama issued a statement saying he decries "racism and anti-Semitism in every form, and strongly condemn the anti-Semitic statements made by Minister Farrakhan. I assume that Trumpet magazine made its own decision to honor Farrakhan, based on his efforts to rehabilitate ex-offenders, but it is not a decision with which I agree."
In Ohio this morning, Obama told the Jewish community leaders that "Louis Farrakhan is a resident of Chicago, and as a consequence, he has been active in a range of community activities, particularly around ex-offenders and dealing with them. I have been a consistent -- before I go any further -- consistent denunciator of Louis Farrakhan, nobody challenges that. And what is true is that, recently this is probably, I guess last year, an award was given to Farrakhan for his work on behalf of ex-offenders completely unrelated to his controversial statements... And I believe that was a mistake and showed a lack of sensitivity to the Jewish community, and I said so. But I have never heard an anti-Semitic comment made inside of our church. I have never heard anything that would suggest anti-Semitism on the part of the pastor."more