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PA Arabs in Gaza Campaigning for Barack Obama

Arab residents of Gaza are randomly calling Americans to persuade them to vote for Barack Obama in next month's US presidential election.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 10/27/2008, 10:26 PM

A Palestinian Authority newspaper reported on Sunday that Arab residents of Gaza are randomly calling Americans at home in hopes of persuading them to vote for Democratic candidate Senator Barack Obama in next month's US presidential election.

The article in Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, first noted and translated by Palestinian Media Watch, quotes a young man from the Hamas-controlled Gaza region as saying, "We dial random numbers and try to call people [in the United States] without knowing their identity or their affiliation...." He reportedly uses "Internet sites that allow making free calls... in order to use them for the campaign supporting Obama."

The Al-Hayat Al-Jadida article said, "Most of the Palestinians feel hatred towards USA, whose administrations have always stood by Israel...." The Gaza-based Obama campaigner, Ibrahim Abu Jayyab, "said that a large number of Palestinians dislike their activity..." Those PA residents "do not see any difference between the American politicians [Obama and Republican candidate Sen. John McCain] because of the hostility that they feel towards America," the report explained.

"But [Abu Jayyab's] hope is that their activity will have some impact [in support of Obama]," according to the newspaper report.

Previous Support From Gaza
Abu Jayyab's freelance phone campaign for Obama in the last weeks of the American presidential race has not been the first time the Illinois senator has gotten such help. An Al-Jazeera TV report during the Democratic primaries featured Abu Jayyab as well, when he was busy organizing calls to American voters to persuade them to vote for Obama over then-candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Other types of assistance have also been forthcoming from Gaza. In July of this year, Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog revealed documents purporting to show that the Obama campaign received nearly $30,000 from two brothers living in Rafiah, in Hamas-controlled Gaza, during 2007.

Earlier, during an April 2008 interview with WABC radio and WorldNetDaily, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's Gaza-based political advisor Ahmed Yousef said, "Actually, we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will [win] the election and I do believe he is like John Kennedy, great man with great principle."

At the time, McCain commented, "I think it is very clear... why [Hamas] would not want me to be president of the United States, so if Senator Obama is favored by Hamas, I think people can make judgments accordingly."

Obama campaign spokespeople excoriated McCain and noted repeatedly that Obama has called Hamas a terrorist organization worthy of condemnation. In an interview with The Atlantic shortly thereafter, Obama warned people in the Middle East who were enthusiastic over his candidacy not to be "confused about my unyielding support for Israel's security."