Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, continues to make headlines. The most recent focus? His church's newsletter.
A June 10th, 2007 issue of the newsletter featured an open letter written by Ali Baghdadi, appearing on the "Pastor's Page," that calls Israel an "apartheid" regime. The letter says Israel worked on an "ethnic bomb" that kills "blacks and Arabs." The letter also says "Israel was the closest ally to the white supremacists of South Africa."
In the introduction to an article printed on the "Pastor's Page" on July 7th, 2007, Wright references "the 'state' of Israel" – note the quotation marks around the word "state."
And on July 22nd, the "Pastor's Page" carried a pro-Palestine article by Hamas leader Mousa Aba Marzook excerpted from the Los Angeles Times.
"Why should any Palestinian recognize the monstrous crimes carried out by Israel's founders and continued by its deformed modern Apartheid state?" Marzook asks.
The revelations could hurt Obama's standing with the Jewish community, with whom some commentators have already suggested Obama has a problem. The American Spectator has seized on comments by Obama advisor Merrill McPeak concerning the influence of pro-Israel voters on Middle East policy. ("Obama has a Jewish problem and McPeak's bigoted views are emblematic of what they are," wrote Robert Goldberg.)
But Obama trails Clinton by just five points among Jewish Democrats, according to this recent Gallup poll – a divide that is within the poll's margin of error and one that cuts against the notion that Jewish voters are rejecting the Democratic frontrunner.