Obama Pledges Support for Israel to Fla. Jews

Seeks support in Jewish community
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2008 6:33 AM CDT
Barack Obama speaks during a town hall-style meeting at a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida. Obama promised an "unshakable commitment" to Israel if he is elected.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama sought to quell skepticism about him in the Jewish community yesterday by addressing a tough audience of older Jewish voters in a Conservative synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida. He asked the audience not to judge him by his 'funny name' or his skin color, to ignore the erroneous emails and rumors that he is a Muslim. "Judge me by what I say and what I have done," he asked, saying he has been a passionate and consistent supporter of Israel.

“The bottom line is this. Nobody can find any statement that I have ever made that is anything less than unequivocally pro-Israel, that says Israel’s security is paramount,” Obama said. “There is not a single trace of me ever being anything more than a friend of Israel and of the Jewish people.” He cited the  “common kinship” between African Americans and Jews based on persecution and their historic alliance in the civil rights movement.