Monday, May 05, 2008

Open Letter to Senator John McCain

Dear Senator McCain:

You promised the American people to pursue a presidential campaign that is more like a respectful argument among friends than a bitter clash of enemies. You have suggested that your conduct during this contest will demonstrate that you are the candidate best able to build a bipartisan consensus to address our nation’s challenges: “I intend to wage this campaign and to govern this country in a way that [Americans] would be proud of me. You said: “I’m going to raise the level of political dialog in America, and I’m going to treat my opponents with respect and demand that they treat me with respect.”

You promised straight talk.

Despite these vows, you have joined those attempting to tar and feather Senator Obama with the outrageous remarks of Rev. Wright, which have been roundly rejected by Sen. Obama as “divisive,” “destructive,” and “appalling.” Even after being attacked yourself for miscegenation by Karl Rove in 2000, you have “not tried hard enough to stop a race-baiting commercial that is being run against Mr. Obama in North Carolina.

Your campaign has now tried to paint Sen. Obama as the favorite candidate of the Israel-hating terrorists of Hamas. Yet you know Sen. Obama’s clearly stated position is the same as yours, that the US and Israel must refuse to talk with Hamas until it recognizes Israel, renounces violence and accepts past agreements. What’s more, the Hamas official referred to Obama while praising President Carter for negotiating peace between Egypt and Israel, and expressing hope that the former president could broker peace between Israel and Hamas.

Senator McCain, such character assassination has no place in civil and respectful political debate in America. We call upon you for Straight Talk.

You sought out and have continued to welcome the endorsement of Rev. John Hagee, a bigot whose views are no less offensive than those of Rev. Wright, who has written that Jews are responsible for their own persecution:

“It was the disobedience and rebellion of the Jews, God’s chosen people, to their covenantal responsibility to serve only the one true God, Jehovah, that gave rise to the opposition and persecution that they experienced beginning in Canaan and continuing to this very day….

“How utterly repulsive, insulting, and heartbreaking to God for His chosen people to credit idols with bringing blessings He had showered upon the chosen people. Their own rebellion had birthed the seed of anti-Semitism that would arise and bring destruction to them for centuries to come…”

Pastor John Hagee, Jerusalem Countdown, pp. 92-93

Your campaign has even appointed as national finance co-chair Fred Malek, whose dubious background includes counting and demoting Jews at the Bureau of Labor Statistics during the Nixon Administration.

We call upon you to keep your promise to conduct a civil, truthful campaign, free from lies and smears, renounce the endorsement of extremists like Pastor Hagee, repudiate his hateful anti-Jewish remarks, and dismiss anti-Semites like Fred Malek from your campaign.

Senator McCain: Its time for straight talk on Jewish issues!

Click to sign this petition at Jews for Obama...

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