Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Letter to Senator Obama

I am an Obama supporter and I am also Jewish. I have heard some in the Jewish community express some reservation about Barak Obama. I try to quell their fears. Having said that there is no question that any support whatsoever of a Louis Farrakhan would be problematic for me. I will take Senator Obama at his word which he gave at the last debate and even though he used the term "minister" Farrakhan, a term of respect, in reference to Louis Farrakhan, I believe Senator Obama when he says he not only denounces Louis Farrakhan he rejects him.

It is possible Louis Farrakhan wanted some press and took this opportunity to try to matter after being removed from the political scene for quite some time. The press, of course, because Louis Farrakhan is so controversial wants to stir the pot. It does make me a bit uneasy, though, that Senator Obama was for twenty years affiliated with that particular church which employed Pastor Wright as its minister. Pastor Wright has issued gobs of praise for Louis Farrakhan.

I sometimes believe the organizations -- or religious affiliations -- tell something about a person underneath it all. The United Church of Christ generally is and has been, in my opinion, a force for humanitarian causes and a force for good. Occasionally, though the more progressive churches have been, unfortunately, sympathetic to Islamic fundamentalist political sentiments. This bothers me.

I cannot imagine Senator Obama would go back on what he says but I am not assured of that even for Senator Obama once he is elected president. Israel's position is precarious and its very existence is at risk. The Jewish people, a small minority in the world, are once again, it seems eternally, threatened. I am hoping the Senator will continue to avidly support the State of Israel's existence and not only work for peace but actually achieve it. It is one (among many) reasons I support Senator Obama. I feel that he may have more credence in the Arab world which would actually help not harm the Jewish state.

My politics and my being have been shaped by the Holocaust. In my opinion, it is the single most important historical event of the 20th century, indeed, in all of history and certainly in the history of the Jewish people. Everything I am and everything I believe relates to it in some way so naturally I am concerned about the true sentiments of the possible and, indeed, probable next president of the most powerful country on earth. I hope the Senator does not disappoint me. If the Senator is the nominee I will, of course, vote for him without question. I trust his veracity but as a Jew I am always vigilant.