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05:21
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News Brief

  5/23/2008, Iyar 18, 5768

Obama in Florida: Call Me Baruch


Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama has embarked on an intense effort to prove to Jewish voters that he is strong on backing Israel and said at a Florida synagogue Thursday that they can call him "Baruch," a play on his first name. His middle name is Hussein. Trying to clinch the Democratic nomination, he promised "an unshakable commitment to Israel's security."

Sen. Obama reiterated his opposition to negotiating with the Hamas terrorist faction while explaining that talking with Iran would be in Israel's best interests. Demanding concessions from Iran in exchange for offers of economic aid would give America "the moral high ground," he reasoned.

The Illinois senator pleaded with the Jewish audience, "Don't judge me because I've got a funny name. Don't judge me because I'm African-American and people are concerned about memories of the past." He said he wants to improve relations between blacks and Jews.