Thursday, October 16, 2008


Obama, Rev. Jackson disclaim reported tirade against 'Zionists'

Barack Obama's and his campaign managers distanced the Obama/Biden ticket from sacriligious and taboo utterances reportedly made by civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.

Obama's campaign rushed to assuage any fears the comments may have raised, condemn the paradigm inferred in the speech and set itself apart from Jackson. The remarks shot around the world like a plague and have since been quoted in numerous publications and news broadcasts.

Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Jackson does not advise Obama and is "in no position to interpret or share Barack Obama's views on Israel and foreign policy."

"Barack Obama has a fundamental commitment to a strong US-Israel relationship," Morigi said. "As president, he will ensure that Israel can defend itself from every threat it faces, stand with Israel in his quest for a secure peace with its neighbors, and use all elements of American power to end Iran's illicit nuclear program."

The McCain Campaign seized the opportunity of the negative news blitz about Obama in light of Jesse Jackson's purported comments on Zionism and its hold on America

Lagging in the polls and preparing for what many have described a 'make-or-break' debate Wednesday evening, Republican candidate John McCain seized on Jackson's controversial remarks.

"It should not surprise anyone that Obama’s supporters see what others, from the terrorist group Hamas to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, have seen - an Obama presidency would bring real change to America’s policy of support for Israel," the McCain campaign said in a statement.

McCain's top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, went on to say: "Barack Obama has claimed that nobody has suffered more than the Palestinians, praised a former spokesman of a Palestinian terrorist group for reminding him of his own 'blind spots' and 'biases,' and told the New York Times that Hamas and Hezbollah have 'legitimate claims.'

"Barack Obama expressed support for Jerusalem being the undivided capital of Israel and switched his position 24 hours later in the face of criticism from Palestinians. Barack Obama has said it is a 'disgrace' that the United States has not met unconditionally with leaders committed to Israel’s destruction. Now, Barack Obama claims to be a strong supporter of Israel but his supporters - here and abroad - know better."

Jesse Jackson Denies "Zionist" remarks

Later on Wednesday Jackson himself sought to redress the accounts of the interview, slamming Taheri for selectively imposing his own point of view and distorting what was said.

"That is not true," Jackson told XM radio talk show host Joe Madison. "That's a fabrication."

A statement released by his Rainbow Push coalition said: "The recent column in the New York Post by Amir Taheri in no way represents my views on Middle East peace and security."

"The writer is selectively imposing his own point of view, and distorting mine. I have a long held position of a two state solution to achieve peace in the Middle East. I stand forthrightly for the security and stability of Israel, its protection from any form of hostility, and a peaceful, non-violent resolution to co-existing with its Palestinian neighbors," the statement said.

According to JTA, (JTA, is the Global News Service of the Jewish People, an international wire service covering issues of relevance to the Jewish community.) sources close to Jackson, some of the quotes in Taheri's article were fabricated. For one thing, they said, Jackson never used the term "Zionists."

Jesse Jackson told Amir Taheri in an interview prior to the publishing of the New York Post article that he was not an adviser for the Obama campaign.

Jesse Jackson accused Taheri of seeking to "incite fear and division."

Amir Taheri, is a writer who has in the past been charged with making exaggerated claims. It was not clear if Taheri claimed to be in the room when Jackson made his remarks, or if others had reported the remarks to Taheri.

Taheri has a controversial past. Some of his writings on his native Iran have been debunked by experts as based on fabrications and distortions. Canada's National Post apologized for his 2006 report that Iran's leaders planned to force Jews to wear yellow insignia after the claim was proved unfounded.

Jesse Jackson hasn't had any credibility in the mainstream media ever since his illfated "hymie town" reference. It is a wonder that some in the media choose this juncture to endow him with credentials of verisimilitude. Moreover, how many Obama linkages to "seethy" characters have been presented to the voting public so far? I have lost count. Point of the matter is, Jackson hasn't been relevant in maninstream political discourse for a number of years. The fact that these alleged remarks made headlines on all major news outlets is the real news here.

The American Jewish Committee condemned Jackson's statements, as reported by Taheri. The remarks "echo classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish power," said AJC Executive Director David A. Harris. "This statement, regrettably, is not the first troubling comment by Rev. Jackson regarding Israel, Zionism and the Jewish people."

Even if a video of the actual speech Jesse Jackson made in France could be secured the damage has already been done. The crux of the matter is that any reference to Zionism in a negative manner reported in US media will necessarily, result is this sort of news blitz whether the accounts of the assertion are verbatim or not. It is taboo, forbidden and tacitly obeyed.

Amir Taheri is certainly a seasoned hitman and well versed in these matters - as evidenced by his hatchet job on Iran. But who hired him to plant this instance of disinformation about the Obama campaign? Desperate and flailing neo-cons attempting a last minute coup? The same kind of people that pull the strings of Walid Shoebat? We may never know, but we can be vigilant and guard against such charlatans.

Many scholars and even some politicians have rang the alarm bell about this sort of censorship and agenda engineering in the United States, maybe it's time we heed their warning.


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